Overdose deaths reached a new high in the 12-month period ending in April 2023, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC found 111,355 people died from a drug overdose during that time, compared with 110,394 deaths in the 12-month period ending in March 2022, CNN reports.
“I was expecting that overdose deaths would go down after the big jump during the COVID pandemic, as we resume our everyday life,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “So to me, it is very concerning that these numbers remain so elevated.”
According to the new report, fentanyl and other synthetic opioids were involved in nearly 70% of overdose deaths. Increases in overdoses involving these substances accounted for most of the overall increase in deaths. “Fentanyl is everywhere,” Volkow said. “It’s not just disguised as heroin, but it’s also actually present in cocaine and methamphetamine.”