2020 ‘exacerbated all of the issues’ driving record drug abuse in America

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Yahoo Finance on 12/30/2020 by Adriana Belmonte

The coronavirus pandemic has had devastating mental health effects on Americans, and drug abuse is hitting record levels.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that over 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. in the 12-month period ending in May 2020. That’s the highest number ever recorded by the CDC.

“This pandemic and all that’s come along with it has really just exacerbated those vulnerabilities and the shortcomings of our own approach to treating those people,” Dr. Ryan Marino, a medical toxicologist and emergency physician based out of Ohio, told Yahoo Finance.

In San Francisco, the number of overdose deaths (621) outpaced COVID-related deaths (173) in 2020.