LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Preliminary data from the CDC published last week shows that a record number of people died from drug overdoses last year, marking the most deaths since the CDC started tracking those statistics in 1999.
There were upwards of 92,000 overdose deaths in the 12 month period ending in November 2020, according to data from the CDC.
What You Need To Know
- 2020 was the deadliest year for drug overdoses since 1999
- Upwards of 92,000 overdose deaths occurred in the 12 month period ending in November, according to data from the CDC
- In 2020, there were 1,958 overdose deaths in the commonwealth according to data from the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC)
- The April report cited the increase in overdose deaths were driven by involvement of fentanyl followed by methamphetamine and by the combination of both drugs
Michelle Dubey from Landmark Recovery said 2020 was a tough year combating drugs.
“Seeing a number like 92,000 overdose deaths in 2020 is staggering. Obviously for the families impacted by this, you are dealing with the grief that already came with the strange year 2020 was, and you're grieving the loss of someone who was close to you,” said Dubey, the chief clinical officer of Landmark Recovery.
In 2020, there were 1,958 overdose deaths in the Commonwealth according to data from the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC). Here in Kentucky, the greatest spike in deaths occurred in May 2020.
The April report cited the increase in overdose deaths were driven by involvement of fentanyl followed by methamphetamine and by the combination of both drugs. Dubey said the drug use in the community has also led people to seek out addiction centers like Landmark Recovery to help aid in treatment.
“This time last year, we were certainly not operating at the capacity we are now. We are nearly full in all of our facilities locally and across the country we operate. We have seen an increase in people using our services,” she said.
Dubey believes that we can turn this situation into a positive by shining a spotlight on addiction. She recommended checking up on your loved ones – these checkups along with education about the signs and symptoms can help get people who are in need of help the care they need.
“Overdose deaths are preventable. Most communities, the health departments offer education related to administering naloxone,” said Dubey. “You can carry naloxone with you and it’s a super powerful tool to help prevent overdose deaths,” she added.
KIPRC’s study found an increase in overdose deaths among the youngest and oldest parts of the population but found most overdose deaths occur among middle-aged individuals.