Overdose Deaths Escalate during COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic may have had unintended consequences for substance use and overdoses in the United States. Although overdose deaths were increasing before COVID-19, the latest data suggest overdose deaths have escalated during the pandemic. Based on CDC estimates, over 81,000 overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020. This is the highest number of overdose deaths recorded within a 12-month period. Florida had a 38.4% increase in estimated drug overdose deaths from July 2019 to July 2020 compared to an estimated 24.2% increase nationally.