CV NEWS FEED // New data from the Centers for Disease Control has revealed record drug overdose deaths during the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020.
An estimated 93,000 people died last year from drug overdoses, marking a significant increase from the previous year’s total of 72,000 deaths, the CDC reported.
The spike in overdose deaths was especially grave for young people, with approximately 57 more deaths per day than the previous year among people under the age of 45. This number far outstripped the 30.4 daily COVID-19 deaths among people under 45 in 2020.
This is the second time the CDC has released numbers showing the devastating toll that lockdowns have had on adolescents. The CDC previously reported that one in four young people have had suicidal thoughts during lockdowns.
These findings match the grim reality that social workers have reported across the country.
Jennifer Austin, a coach who works with people who have substance abuse disorder, recently told NPR about her experience working in Ogdensburg, N.Y. “The longer people had to isolate it was relapse, relapse, overdose, relapse, overdose,” she said.
Austin explained that people in recovery require community and structure. The added mandatory isolation made providing these necessary resources impossible, devastating people struggling with addiction.
“This is a staggering loss of human life,” said Brandon Marshall, a Brown University public health researcher who tracks overdose trends.
Opponents of lockdowns will likely cite the new statistics in the coming weeks, as countries consider another lockdown to counter the new COVID-19 Delta Variant.
France has already announced another four-week shutdown, which will include school closures.