The Forgotten People of COVID: U.S. Overdose Deaths Break All Records


From Dr. Suneel Dhand – MedStoic Lifestyle Medicine: “The enormous toll on people’s mental health over the last couple of years from our COVID-19 pandemic response hasn’t been talked about anywhere near enough as it should be . . . The number of drug overdose deaths in Maine increased by nearly a quarter in 2021 . . . and sadly it’s not only the U.S. state of Maine—this has been replicated across the country. Here’s what the CDC had to say about it in November: “Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Top 100,000 Annually . . . Provisional data from the CDC showed that there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5 percent from . . . the same period the year before.”

And remember, the overdose deaths we’re seeing here are the tip of a devastating iceberg. Underlying all of this are soaring rates of depression, substance abuse, alcoholism, many of which I have seen myself at the front lines in so many patients over the last 18 months or so. And remember, this is disproportionately affecting younger people. Look at this horrible headline from October in U.S. News: “Liver Transplants Soar as Some Americans Drink Their Way Through the Pandemic” . . . When we’ve had lockdowns and restrictions it does have big knock-on devastating effects. That 100,000 number is the first time in U.S. history overdose deaths have reached that tragic milestone.”

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