Drug overdoses have been increasing and accelerating since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to data obtained by The Washington Post.
Nationwide suspected overdoses soared 18% in March compared with last year, 29% in April and 42% in May, according to the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, a federal program that collects data from ambulance teams, police and hospitals.
Definitive numbers on the change in overdoses during the pandemic will not be available for another five to six months because of how slowly the government collects data, the article notes.
Evidence suggests that a number of factors are fueling the increase in overdoses, including continued isolation, massive job losses and disruptions to the drug trade. In addition, many treatment centers, drug courts and recovery programs have closed or significantly reduced their services.