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The opioid crisis continues to wreak havoc in the United States. New record increase in overdoses: 107,600 deaths in 2021, according to figures from the government agency CDC released on May 11. This is 15% more than during the year 2020 which already recorded a record number of overdose deaths.
With our correspondent in Miami, David Thomson
Every 5 minutes, somewhere in the United States, someone dies from an overdose. These overdoses kill more people than guns or car accidents.
In 2021, for the first time, the country crossed the symbolic bar of 100,000 deaths. The CDC, the US government agency for the prevention of disease, records 108,000 deaths, a record.
Main explanation for this spectacular increase, which follows the already catastrophic one of 2020: the Covid-19 crisis, which has only worsened that of opiates, by further isolating the public at risk.
And this crisis is always associated with fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic opiate, often prescribed as a painkiller in the United States, implicated in 70,000 of these overdose deaths. This is followed by methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, products that are often associated.
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At the end of April, Joe Biden launched his new so-called risk reduction strategy. The president wants to increase the distribution of naloxone, this antidote which makes it possible to resuscitate people in overdose. A strategy that some on the right accuse of encouraging drug use, but hailed by many experts who see it as a choice of the lesser evil to save lives.