‘Completely devastating’ U.S. passes 1M overdose deaths since records began’
A grim milestone was met in May 2022 as overdose deaths surpassed more than 1 million since records began tracking two decades ago. 2021 saw a 15% increase of overdose deaths from the previous year with an estimated 107, 622 fatalities.
There has been a significant increase of overdose deaths for black boys and men. Additionally, despite drug use generally decreasing among teenage-aged youth, overdose deaths have doubled in recent years. Fentanyl is responsible for a large portion of recent overdose fatalities. Fake pills that are pressed to look like prescription medications, like xanax or percocet, but contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl have increased a fiftyfold between the years 2018 and 2021. Read The Guardian story here.
Since 1999, more than 600,000 people in the United States and Canada have died of an opioid overdose. The pandemic has pushed the crisis to disturbing new heights.
The focus on who misuses drugs can be misunderstood and in fact, the rising tide of addiction and overdose deaths can be found everywhere. KPIX 5 has spoken to grieving families from Silicon Valley to the wine country, Marin to Hillsborough, and the Tri-Valley. No one is spared. Go to story.
According to a new CDC report, the U.S. has set a record for overdose deaths during the COVID pandemic. Nationally, there has been a 30% increase, while the state of California experienced a 45% increase. The tragedy of the situation is not just seen on city streets but also in suburbs, like in Contra Costa County. April Rovero from the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse (NCAPDA) talks about how the pandemic has impacted youths and the larger Contra Costa community and the stigma that prevents people suffering from substance use disorder from seeking help. Go to story.
Dr. Laura Berman, a relationship therapist, is warning parents of the dangers of social media in connection to her son’s overdose death. Berman’s son, Sammy, connected with a drug dealer on Snapchat and was sold Xanax or Percocet laced with fentanyl. He overdosed in his room while sheltering at home during the pandemic. Now, Dr. Laura Berman has taken to social media to educate parents on how teenagers use emojis to talk to one another about drugs. Go to story.
John Oliver tackled America’s opioid crisis on Last Week Tonight on Sunday. He started his reporting with a dog who overdosed after someone threw a bag of heroin over the fence of a doggy daycare center. (See below for Oliver’s impression of a stoned dog.) “Rampant heroin abuse near a doggy daycare is the first case that McGruff the Crime Dog is actually qualified to solve,” Oliver noted. Go to story.
With Californians now leading the nation in opioid-related deaths, a Bay Area mother and son are courageously putting a face on this terrible addiction. To get the word out, they opened their home and hearts in hopes others can heed their warnings. Go to Story.
Check out the trailer for American Greed’s program airing on 3/13/17 focused on Dr. Lisa Tseng who put $5M before the health of her patients with devastating consequences.