Drug overdose deaths climbed to a report excessive final yr, reversing a historic decline in 2018 that President Donald Trump touted as one among his administration’s key accomplishments, Politico reports. There have been 70,980 reported overdose deaths in 2019, surpassing the height of 70,699 deaths in 2017, say preliminary Facilities for Illness Management information. It was a four.6 p.c enhance from the earlier yr, a development that the Trump administration and consultants say is constant as overdose deaths spike amid a pandemic that’s taken a toll on psychological well being. Thirty-seven states reported a rise in drug overdose deaths or numbers that had been unchanged. South Dakota’s 54 p.c enhance was by far the most important of any state. North Dakota was second with a 31 p.c leap, adopted by Alaska, up 27 p.c.
“It appears that evidently 2019 is the brand new excessive for drug overdose deaths,” stated Bob Anderson of CDC’s Nationwide Heart for Well being Statistics. “Knowledge are nonetheless provisional at this level, however the enhance in the previous few months of 2019 was steep sufficient to push it excessive by somewhat greater than 2 hundred deaths.” Trump campaigned on ending the opioid disaster and, together with Congress, invested greater than $21 billion within the effort over the previous 4 years. The 2018 decline in overdose deaths was the primary drop in almost 30 years. “It was untimely to declare victory in 2018,” stated Chuck Ingoglia of the Nationwide Council for Behavioral Well being. “We nonetheless don’t have sufficient capability to achieve individuals who want it. Even with the brand new investments we’re nonetheless woefully underfunded.” The CDC’s Anderson stated final yr’s enhance was largely pushed by artificial opioids like illicit fentanyl, although deaths involving methamphetamine and cocaine have elevated.