Drug overdose deaths are higher than ever, Elizabeth Tracey reports

February 21, 2022

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100,000. That’s the official word on how many deaths due to drug overdoses have taken place in the US in the last year, with a new analysis in the Lancet projecting over a million overdose deaths in North America if current trends continue by 2029. Eric Strain, a substance abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says it’s not just opioids.

Strain: I think that we’ve become somewhat distracted with Covid, understandably, and lost track of opiate overdoses, which have continued at a torrential rate despite Covid. The Lancet article also highlights to me something that I don’t think we’re really seeing, which is a significant methamphetamine problem. And that’s something I think as well that we need to be cognizant of, because the indicators are that the methamphetamine wave continues to push eastward over time.  :30

Strain says any intervention must start with recognition, so keeping tabs on which drugs are gaining traction is crucial. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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