(Article by BigLeaguePolitics.com)republished from
According to data published on Wednesday by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the 12-month period ending on April 2021 saw over one hundred thousand people die from drug overdoses in the United States alone. This represents a stunning 28.5 percent increase compared to the previous 12-month period. Many Americans are concerned over how high these numbers may end up going absent a concerted effort by the federal government and civil society.
According to CNN, the main driver of this alarming increase appears to be synthetic opioids, and fentanyl in particular, whose body count increased by 49 percent and now accounts for nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of all drug overdose deaths.
Even mainstream news outlets have admitted that a large factor driving this increase may very well be the fallout from the pandemic lockdowns. According to US News, social distancing edicts, as well as the closure of many places of treatment, have restricted the ability of those already struggling from drug abuse to seek in-person assistance, instead either being forced to seek virtual assistance or giving up on getting better entirely, the latter appearing to be an unfortunately common alternative chosen.
Indeed, many professionals in the field echo the same concerns that drug recovery patients are woefully unable to seek the assistance and attention they need to have any hopes of recovering and becoming productive members of society.
Dr. Shawn Ryan, a member of the board of directors for professional medical organization the American Society of Addiction Medicine, said regarding progress in combatting drug addiction, that “It’s pulled all of the factors in the wrong direction in relation to mental health and addiction in the face of a situation where the infrastructure and system of care related to mental health and substance use disorder treatment is still not where it needs to be,” despite how massive the overall American healthcare system is, taking up a whopping one-sixth of the country’s very large economy.
Much less discussed is the cause of the uptrend in drug overdose deaths even before the pandemic, which many respectable observers have blamed on the deterioration of civil society as well as the decline in labor force participation of men at prime working age. Indeed, for men between the ages of 25 and 54, around one in eight are no longer even choosing to try to find work, which represents a significant negative social development from years past, where labor force participation of this group was nearly universal.
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