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El gráfico muestra el aumento en muertes por sobredosis desde 2015, así como del incremento desde que entraron en vigor los confinamientos por Covid.


La pandemia intensifica muertes por sobredosis

By Duncan Mil

February 22, 2021 - El estrés, el aislamiento y las dificultades financieras causados por la pandemia de coronavirus llevaron a casi 84.000 muertes por sobredosis en el año hasta julio2020 – la cifra más alta de muertes por drogas jamás registrada en un solo año.

The latest figures published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a 23 per cent rise on the previous 12-month period, with opioids accounting for more than 61,000, or 73 per cent, of those deaths.

During the presidential campaign, Joe Biden proposed a $125 billion investment in preventing substance abuse, treatment, and recovery, over ten years, with taxes on the pharmaceutical industry.

Just one in five people with opioid use disorder in the U.S. can access treatment when they need it. President Biden now faces twin health crises -- the coronavirus pandemic has also triggered an economic recession that threatens some addiction treatment centres’ survival.

For the president, it’s personal -- he has talked openly about his son Hunter’s struggle with addiction and substance use disorders.

In May 2017, as the number of overdose fatalities hit 68,370 over 12 months, President Donald Trump proposed to cut the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s budget by 95 per cent -- from $388 million to just $25 million.

It was not until October 2017, as the number of overdose fatalities hit 70,690, that Trump declared the opioid crisis as a public health emergency.

“If what we’ve been doing was working, we wouldn’t be where we’re at right now with overdose deaths,” says Ryan Hampton, a Biden adviser.

“If we can get someone on the recovery journey and they can sustain that for five years, they have an 85 per cent chance of sustaining that recovery for the rest of their lives,” says Hampton.

PUBLISHED: 23/02/2021; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images