2021 breaks record for drug overdoses in U.S.

Nashville also saw its deadliest year
Posted at 5:34 AM, May 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-22 06:34:02-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — The CDC released a new record has been set in the opioid crisis. More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, now the highest on record. It's a 15 percent increase from 2020.

This new total means there’s roughly one overdose death in the U.S. every five minutes.

Health officials blame an increase in fentanyl-laced drugs for accelerating the surge. Deaths involving that drug and other synthetic opioids were up 23 percent last year.

The White House is calling the accelerating pace of overdose deaths unacceptable. It's promoting a new national drug control strategy that calls for more measures like connecting more people to treatment, disrupting drug trafficking and expanding access to naloxone.

This is an issue we’re seeing locally according to Metro Public Health, 2021 surpassed 2020 as the deadliest year on record for overdoses in Nashville. Nearly 80 percent of overdose-related toxicology reports this year have detected fentanyl.