Overdose Deaths Rose Almost 50% Among Black Americans From 2019 to 2020

    Overdose deaths rose 49% among Black Americans from 2019 to 2020, compared with a 26% increase among white Americans, a new study finds.

    Researchers from UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They found overdose death rates among Black Americans exceeded that of white Americans for the first time in 20 years, HealthDay reports.

    “We know that the COVID-19 pandemic hit Black Americans especially hard, and that the risk of a drug overdose is strongly linked to many of the damaging financial, health and social effects of the pandemic that were disproportionately borne by Black people,” said Linda Richter, vice president for prevention research and analysis at Partnership to End Addiction, who was not involved in the study.

    “Although the overdose crisis has often been represented as a ‘white problem,’ that has never been further from the truth,” researcher Joseph Friedman said in a news release. “The increasingly dangerous drug supply has disproportionately put Black and Native communities at risk. We need to reverse deep-seated inequalities in access to treatment, harm reduction and services that can help people stay safe.”


    March 2022