The CDC announced a stunning statistic last week, which estimated more than 100,000 Americans have died as a result of overdose deaths, from April 2020 to March 2021—a number driven in large part by aggravated social isolation from Covid-19 lockdowns and the importation of fentanyl across the U.S. border, as reported by the Associated Press.
The grim statistic marks a nearly 30 percent spike from last year, which saw a similar increase from the year prior, indicating a 20-year trend in which drug overdose rates have steadily risen.
Drug Enforcement Administration officials have identified illegal fentanyl as a major contributor to this massive increase in overdoses. Fentanyl is a drug mass-produced in China and transported across the U.S.-Mexico border by Mexican drug cartels.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decried the sobering statistics, blasting the Biden administration for doing “nothing” to stop fentanyl from pouring across the southern border.
“The Texas National Guard & Texas Dept. of Public Safety have seized enough fentanyl to kill everyone in Texas, California, & New York,” Abbott tweeted last week. “While Biden does nothing, the Lone Star State is keeping communities safe.”
Experts have intimated that prolonged isolation and detachment due to Covid-19 lockdowns have exacerbated mental health conditions contributing to drug overdoses.
“[It’s] devastating,” Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University professor told the AP. “It’s a magnitude of overdose death that we haven’t seen in this country.”
The 100,000 number is based on a projection of reported death certificate data received through April 2021. This number is expected to rise as additional information becomes available and is reported to the CDC.
Drug overdoses, according to officials, now top deaths from car crashes, gun-related deaths, and illnesses like the flu or pneumonia.