Black Americans suffered a spike in deaths from drug overdose during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study finds.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angelesanalyzed publicly available data to find the racial distribution of the record overdose surge in 2020 and found which groups had the greatest impact.
The research team found that Black Americans suffered a 49 percent increase in deaths per 100,000 population between 2019 and 2020, to 36.8 out of 24.7.
Black Americans have now surpassed White Americans in overdose deaths per share of the population, only succeeding Indians.
Black Americans (yellow) suffer a 49% increase in deaths due to drug overdose from 2019 to 2020, the highest of any group. Each racial group suffers an increase of 25% or more (dotted line marks the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic)
Black Americans (yellow) surpassed White Americans (gray) in opioid death per 100,000 population for the first time since 2001 in 2020, as the racial group suffered the most from a record opioid increase
“In this cross-sectional study, we observed that black people had the largest percentage increase in mortality rates for overdose by 2020, and the rate among White individuals exceeded for the first time since 1999,” researchers wrote.
The study, published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatrycollected data from as far back as 1999.
Drug overdoses have long been a problem in the US, but the problem reached its peak during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that a record 104,000 Americans died from an overdose between September 2020 and 2021.
Opioids, and especially synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, account for about 75 percent of these deaths.
The problem has long been associated with White Americans in Appalachia and the southern United States. White and Native Americans outperformed Black and Hispanic Americans until 2016 when deaths began to grow among Black Americans.
In 2019, Black and White Americans were linked to 25 deaths from overdose per 100,000 inhabitants.
However, black Americans are suffering a large turnout, surpassing all other racial demographics from 2019 to 2020.
Native Americans, who in 2020 still suffer the highest burden of drug overdose with more than 40 deaths per 100,000 population by 2020, saw the second-highest increase of about 43 percent.
Hispanic Americans have not been hit as hard as other groups by the overdose crisis in recent years also experienced a sharp increase, with deaths jumping 40 percent.
With only 16 deaths per 100,000, however, Hispanic Americans still suffer the lowest proportion of drug overdoses among their population.
White Americans suffer 31.6 deaths per 100,000 population, a staggering total, and while a 26 percent increase in just one year is still large, it turned out compared to other groups.
Data for Asian Americans were not included in the study. The researchers did not indicate whether this was because the racial group was generally associated with lower overdose totals than others.
“Drug overdose mortality is becoming increasingly a racial justice issue in the US Our results suggest that drug overdose mortality was exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic,” researchers wrote about the differences suffered by racial groups.
Concerned floods were seen in every racial group included in the study, indicating a nationwide trend that has plagued the nation in recent years.
For 2020, the only time a single racial group had recorded an increase in deaths by overdose of more than 25 percent was black Americans in 2016.
In 2020, all four categories reached that height.
There are a few factors that are believed to cause this surge. First, the overuse of opioids, a problem that dates back to the 1990s, has boosted the confidence of many in the drug.
While opioids are often needed for pain management, they can be dangerous and easily addictive if they are abused or overused. Opioids account for a majority of drug overdose deaths in America
Opioids are safe to use in moderation, and are the most effective pain-killing medications available. For some people, opioids are a must need to manage pain and go through daily life.
Drugs were overused and overused in many cases, causing many to develop an addiction to the highly addictive drugs.
When people who are addicted to the drugs get their prescription, they would often switch to illegal versions of the drugs, which presents another problem.
While all black marker drugs are dangerous, the rise of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl has become a major problem.
‘The increasing toxicity of the drug supply is associated with the increased mortality from recent imprisonment as a risk factor for mortality from overdose,’ researchers wrote.
The pandemic kicked these problems into overdrive because many were left socially isolated – the risk of drug use increased – and some who received treatment had it disrupted early by lockdowns, leading to their relapse and overdose.
Black Americans faced the brunt of record breaking surge of drug overdose deaths in 2020 Source link Black Americans faced the brunt of record breaking surge of drug overdose deaths in 2020