Oct 15, 2020 - Health

Overdose deaths spiked in the first few months of 2020

Illustration of a small employer carrying a giant pill on his back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Overdose deaths increased by about 10% in the first three months of 2020, compared to the same time period last year, preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

What's next: The agency estimates the U.S. will suffer more than 75,500 drug-related deaths in 2020, surpassing last year's record.

By the numbers: 19,416 Americans died by overdose January through March — about 3,000 more compared to the same time period last year.

  • Overdose deaths in rural South Dakota increased the most by 50%, from 62 to 93 fatalities.
  • Both California and Florida increased by 20%, adding about 1,000 more overdose deaths than last year.
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