From the New York Times.
In Shadow of Pandemic, U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Resurge to Record
It looks as if 2020 will be even worse. Drug deaths have risen an average of 13 percent so far this year over last year, according to mortality data from local and state governments collected by The New York Times, covering 40 percent of the U.S. population. If this trend continues for the rest of the year, it will be the sharpest increase in annual drug deaths since 2016, when a class of synthetic opioids known as fentanyls first made significant inroads in the country’s illicit drug supply.
The 2018 decline was largely explained by reductions in deaths from prescription opioid medications, the drugs that started the nation’s addiction epidemic back in the 1990s. But those declines appear to have been overrun by continued increases in deaths from illicit drugs, particularly methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl.
President Trump made much of the slight decrease in overdose deaths in 2018, pointing to his administration’s efforts to expand addiction treatment and restrict the drug supply. Mr. Trump and Congress have provided several billion dollars in grants to states since 2017 for treatment, prevention and recovery services, expanding access to buprenorphine treatment in particular. But at the same time, the administration has continued fighting in court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, a law that has allowed states to expand Medicaid and provide free addiction treatment to low-income adults.
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