# Roommate, the COVID-19 pandemic started many things, but perhaps the deadliest one was the massive surge in fentanyl drug use, which tragically rose to new levels. 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, citing a 30 percent increase in fentanyl use within 12 months during the peak of the pandemic, according to new reports from health officials.

@NYTimes reports the National Center for Health Statistics recently launched its troubling findings on drug overdose during the pandemic. During the 12-month period that ended in April, it was revealed that over 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, up nearly 30% from 2019. It also means that for the first time in American history, more people have died from drug overdose than gun violence and car accidents combined. The most common cause of new overdoses has been linked to the widely used fentanyl, which is used not only as a standalone drug but also to make other drugs.

Fentanyl, which is 100 times stronger than morphine, is often added to various other drugs to make them more effective. Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, spoke about the latest findings. “These are numbers that we have never seen before. This is a great challenge for our society. [Some] maybe didn’t want to take [fentanyl.] But this is sold, and the risk of overdose is very high. Many people die without knowing what they are eating, ”she said.

In addition, deaths from drug overdoses related to the use of stimulants such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and natural and semi-synthetic opioids (such as prescription pain relievers) have also increased over the past year. 70% of deaths occurred between men ages 25 to 54, with white Americans most affected.

As we reported back in September, fentanyl appears not only in heroin, morphine, codeine, and other opioids, but also regularly in marijuana and especially cocaine – which means that overdose deaths can be directly attributed to the drugs laced with fentanyl .

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