In the United States, a record number of more than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses last year. This is mainly due to the increasing use during the corona pandemic of addictive heavy painkillers, especially the opioid fentanyl.
According to preliminary figures from the CDC health service, the number of deaths rose by nearly 30 percent from 2019. Nearly 70,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses, nearly 20,000 more than a year earlier. Fentanyl was also often involved in deaths from cocaine and amphetamine.
The pandemic and lockdowns caused stress, financial problems, social isolation, boredom and school dropout for many, often resulting in drug use. Treatment was less readily available, and many drug addiction programs were shut down.
Since 1999, more than half a million Americans have died from overdose of heavy painkillers, prescription or over-the-counter. In addition, pharmaceutical companies have been sued for inciting unnecessary prescriptions of opioids. Fentanyl is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine and heroin.