Fatal Overdoses Climbed to Record High in 2019, Reversing Historic Progress

Drug overdose related deaths were at a record high in 2019, despite the Trump Administration using resources to combat the opioid crisis. This led to a 4.6% drop in 2018, but experts state progress was short-lived. This likely relates to the dramatic rise in synthetic opioid drug use and addiction experts note. Further, the 2019 data does not include racial and ethnic minorities, but the 2018 data notes an increase, particularly among black Americans. The situation is expected to get worse in 2020 because COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation after closing outpatient centers due to lockdowns in response to the virus. However, the Trump Administration has loosened restrictions on telehealth services, improving access issues that existed before the pandemic.