Washington State Health Officials said preliminary data shows that more people died in at least the past ten years from drug overdoses in the state in 2020.
Authorities say the pandemic‘s effects are likely to result in an increase in drug use. The spike reflects domestic trends.
In December, more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the largest ever recorded overdose deaths in the 12-month time period, was reported by the Centers for Disease Control.
The Seattle Times reports that fatal drug overdoses in the state of Washington increased more than 30% in 2019.
“We have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bob Lutz, the state COVID-19 medical advisor, stated in a press release earlier this year. “Washingtonians with a disorder of substance use might have been used more often and, sadly, data show that they also overdose more often.”
Many of the overdoses caused by fentanyl, an opioid which can be 100 times more powerful than morphine, were said by the Washington State Department of Health.
Fentanyl was found in counterfeit pills in Washington state, which look like prescribed opioid pills and have a “M30” or “A215” mark, according to DOH. Fentanyl was also found in black tar heroin and powders.
The DOH said that people should assume that fentanyl could not be found in any drug from a pharmacy.
If someone has an drug overdose, the DOH has called 911, give him naloxone and breathe rescue. Opioid overdose signs include unable to wake, slow or no breathing and blue, grey or ashy skin, lips and fingernails.
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