America's drug epidemic is the deadliest it has ever been, new federal data suggests.
More than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States during the 12-month period ending April 2021, according to provisional data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That's a new record high, with overdose deaths jumping 28.5% from the same period a year earlier.
Opioids continue to be the driving cause of drug overdose deaths. Synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, caused nearly two-thirds (64%) of all drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending April 2021, up 49% from the year before, the CDC's 's National Center for Health Statistics found.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the rise in use of fentanyl have both been key contributors to the rising overdose death toll, experts say.
The latest provisional data on drug overdose deaths captures those occurring in May 2020 through April 2021.