As overdose deaths exploded during the pandemic, racial disparities widened, CDC report shows

As U.S. overdose deaths soared to devastating new heights in the first year of the pandemic, racial disparities widened sharply, with rates spiking much more among Black people and American Indians and Alaska Natives than among white people, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

While overall overdose deaths increased by 30% from 2019 to 2020 — to some 92,000 lives lost — rates increased by 44% among Black individuals and 39% among American Indian and Alaska Native people, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which looked at data from 25 states and Washington.

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