More than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdose between April of 2020 and April of 2021, President Biden reacts

The data, by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics found, shows that opioid was the driving cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States during the period, with synthetic opioids causing two-thirds or 64 percent of all drug overdose deaths, up from 49 percent from the year before.

More than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdose between April of 2020 and April of 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to provisional data published on Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new data is a 28.5 percent jump from the same period a year earlier and represents a record high.

The data, by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics found, shows that opioid was the driving cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States during the period, with synthetic opioids causing two-thirds or 64 percent of all drug overdose deaths, up from 49 percent from the year before.

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in a statement said the country cannot ignore that epidemic.


He said, “Today, new data reveal that our nation has reached a tragic milestone: more than 100,000 lives were lost to the overdose epidemic from April of last year to April of this year. As we continue to make strides to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot overlook this epidemic of loss, which has touched families and communities across the country.

“As we grieve those we’ve lost and honor their memories, my Administration is committed to doing everything in our power to address addiction and end the overdose epidemic. Through the American Rescue Plan, we’ve delivered nearly $4 billion to strengthen and expand services for substance use disorder and mental health. We’re working to make health coverage more accessible and affordable for all Americans, so that more people who need care can get it. We are strengthening prevention, promoting harm reduction, expanding treatment, and supporting people in recovery, as well as reducing the supply of harmful substances in our communities. And we won’t let up.

“To all those families who have mourned a loved one and to all those people who are facing addiction or are in recovery: you are in our hearts, and you are not alone. Together, we will turn the tide on this epidemic.”

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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