United States drug overdose deaths reach 100,000 in 12 month period

United States drug overdose deaths reach 100,000 in 12 month period

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times 

The United States (US) hit the unenviable statistic of 100,000 drug overdose deaths during a 12 month period. This concerns the period April 2020 to April 2021. Therefore, perennial internal social issues are neglected year after year.

At the same time, the political system is increasingly divisive and dysfunctional because extremes within the Democratic and Republican parties are sowing greater divisions. This concerns their respective visions for society. However, the ever-changing nature of society – gender issues, religious versus overtly anti-religious, breakdown of the family, and so on – along with alienation in poorer communities irrespective of ethnicity – all equate to many different nations existing within America. 

Henceforth, it is baffling why America seeks to involve itself in so many international issues – from saving the planet to containing the perceived enemies of America (China and the Russian Federation) when vast numbers are dying internally from drug overdoses and homicides. Equally, instead of welcoming vast numbers of immigrants from all over the world – why isn’t America helping the marginalized irrespective of ethnicity (poor African Americans, Native Americans, Whites, Hispanics, and so on)?

Mental health problems, housing insecurity, the struggling working poor, the unemployed, people working in jobs with little rights, and other factors are nothing new. However, the stresses of modern life seem to be breaking more people related to a plethora of factors.

Individuals are linking the increase of 100,000 overdoses to areas related to the coronavirus crisis (Covid-19). However, in the last two to three decades, drug-related issues and mental health problems have increased.

The director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University, Shannon Monnat, says, “Even after Covid is over, overdoses will likely continue to increase.”

Monnat continued, “… we need to recognize that the increase in drug use disorders over the past 20 to 30 years is a symptom of much larger social and economic problems.”

The coronavirus angle looks alarming if you note that 100,306 died in April 2020-2021 period compared to 78,056 overdose-related deaths in the same period the year before. However, in 2016, opioid deaths reached a high of 42,000 (not counting other drug overdose deaths). Hence, it is a growing crisis because the opioid angle is crisscrossing with other drugs.

Hence, many individuals taking cocaine, methamphetamine, or other narcotics, are also testing positive for fentanyl in America. 

Reuters reports, “The second is that the illegal drug supply out on the streets has become deadlier. That is mostly due to widespread availability of fentanyl, which can be 100 times more potent than morphine and is increasingly being mixed with other drugs, such as cocaine, without users knowing, as drug suppliers seek to boost their effects.”

The United States Department of Health and Human Resources, reports, “Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths in 2016, more than any previous year on record. An estimated 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid.”

In 2021, the opioid angle is increasingly visible given the alarming statistics. CNN reports, “Opioids continue to be the driving cause of drug overdose deaths. Synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, caused nearly two-thirds (64%) of all drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending April 2021, up 49% from the year before, the CDC’s ‘s National Center for Health Statistics found.”

The divisive nature of society is also changing rapidly in America. For example, endless different terminologies related to sexuality, increasing race-baiting, religious divisions within families and communities, and other factors are too quick for many individuals. Henceforth, the nation seems ill at ease with itself.

Mental health problems, housing insecurity, the struggling working poor, the unemployed, people working in jobs with little rights, and other factors are nothing new. However, the stresses of modern life seem to be breaking more people related to a plethora of factors.

This country also negates the internally marginalized with longer roots in this nation while welcoming tens of millions of migrants in the last five decades. Thus people already on the margins of society are falling further behind because social and economic issues are not being addressed. Therefore, it is high time to focus on perennial problems that blight African Americans, Native Americans, poorer whites, and so forth decade after decade – along with serious issues related to housing insecurity.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-59253091

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-drug-overdose-deaths-top-100000-annually-cdc-2021-11-17/

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/11/17/health/drug-overdose-deaths-record-high/index.html

PLEASE DONATE TO HELP MODERN TOKYO TIMES

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

DONATIONS to SUPPORT MODERN TOKYO TIMES – please pay PayPal and DONATE to sawakoart@gmail.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News

http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi personal website and Modern Tokyo Times artist

https://moderntokyonews.com Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News

PLEASE JOIN ON TWITTER

https://twitter.com/MTT_News Modern Tokyo Times

https://www.facebook.com/moderntokyotimes/ Facebook

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.