According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, early estimates suggest that nearly 110,000 Americans will die from drug overdoses by 2022.
The number of overdose deaths increased dramatically during the first two pandemic years, accelerating a steady rise that had been occurring for years. The monthly updates of the provisional data indicate that the overdose deaths in 2022 have plateaued, but are still slightly higher than they were the previous year.
In 2022, the 109.680 deaths from overdose are the most recorded in a calendar, compared to 109.179 in 2021.
The data released by the CDC Wednesday may change as death certificates and records are evaluated. The final data on drug overdoses won't be released for several months.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that has played a major role in the increase of fatal overdoses.
In 2022, more than 75,000 overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids - that's two-thirds.
In the last two years, psychostimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine have become more common. According to CDC data, both types of drugs are involved in over a quarter (25%) of all deaths from overdoses in 2022.
In a recent statement, Dr. Rahul gupta, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said that the Biden Administration is taking steps to prevent overdose deaths.
He said: 'We have expanded treatment to millions in the United States, we are improving access to Naloxone for reversing overdoses and we are attacking the illicit supply chain of fentanyl at every chokepoint.'