CDC Estimates 93,000 drug overdose deaths in 2020

“Drug overdose deaths 2020” may sound glib. However, CDC data makes it official that 2020 eclipsed all previous records. As the Commonwealth Fund reports, with 93,331 dead the year was bad by any measure. Not surprisingly this comes on the heels of records in the two years prior. As a result, you should read and think about the attached articles for two reasons. First, they deliver data and insights on the trajectory of the problem. And finally, they may help adjust your program to best protect employees and your workplace.

As for us, we shared some drug use predictions in March of 2020 with our “Rebuilding The Workplace After COVID” series.  Subsequently, this latest CDC data, sadly, validates our worst fears. The upward trajectory is one we expected but hoped would not occur.

  • Fentanyl was responsible for 60% of drug overdose deaths (CDC)
  • In over 50% of fentanyl deaths, no other drugs were present. (DEA)
  • A standard 5-panel test will not detect fentanyl. (Your BIG risk)

Counterfeit pills threaten casual users

Illicit manufacturers press fentanyl into counterfeit pills.  Those pills resemble xanax, oxycodone, or other popular street and party drugs. Because of this, casual users expose themselves to a powerful and highly addictive sedative.  And as a result, a fentanyl death or addiction is a very real possibility. Consequently, employers do not want workers exposed–ever.

Don’t risk it.

Protect your workplace. Add fentanyl to your testing panels.

Wall Street Journal logo on article about Drug Overdose Deaths in 2020.

This article from the July 15 Wall Street Journal details the scope of the 2020  overdose deaths problem and the urgency felt by experts to establish some control over it.

Article on 2020 drug overdose deaths is under this logo for National Public Radio

From National Public Radio, this piece shares some telling data and links that will be of use to anyone wondering if Covid has driven more drug overdose deaths. It is a must-read for any drug program administrator or policy official.