Overdose Deaths Hit New Highs As Pandemic Worsens Opioid Crisis

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WFPL News Louisville on 12/23/2020

New federal data shows the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to the country’s deadliest 12-month period for drug overdose fatalities, including a sharp increase in overdose deaths in the Ohio Valley.

According to the latest data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81,000 people died due to drug overdoses in the 12 months from May 2019 through May 2020 — the largest number of overdose deaths recorded in a year —  forcing the federal agency to issue a health advisory making recommendations to tackle this spike in deaths.

In the Ohio Valley, West Virginia and Kentucky each reported a 22% jump in overdose deaths compared to the same period a year earlier, while Ohio recorded a 13% rise.