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Why America is Losing the War on Overdoses

Americans, and tragically a growing number of young people, are dying in record numbers from drugs. It speaks to how broken our society is.

The United States is sadly losing the battle against addiction. According to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US recorded its highest number of drug overdose deaths in a 12-month period up to April 2021, passing 100,000 for the first time – a 29% year-on-year rise.

CDC data makes clear that the prevalence of opiate use, particularly fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid often substituted for heroin without the user’s knowledge, is the main driver. Many experts say that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its negative mental health effects, including feelings of social isolation, have spurred increased addiction issues.

However, this is not a new issue and has been getting worse for years. I should know, since I hail from Kentucky, a state, much like many other comparatively rural areas of the country, that is plagued with increasing “deaths of despair” that are dragging the average life expectancy in the US on a downward trajectory. Read more…

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