On Thursday, July 28 at 19:30 GMT:
The variety of folks dying from drug overdoses within the US is now at report ranges, with the quantity of fatalities recorded in 2021 equal to at least one demise each 5 minutes.
Now the US Facilities for Illness Management (CDC) has discovered that that whereas deadly overdoses rose dramatically through the first 12 months of the coronavirus pandemic throughout all racial demographics, overdose fatalities surged particularly amongst Black and Native American people.
The CDC says overdose deaths surged 44% amongst Black folks and 39% amongst Native American folks in 2020 over the earlier 12 months, based mostly on knowledge drawn from 25 US states and the District of Colombia. Overdose fatalities rose 22% amongst white folks over the identical interval. A glut of illegally-produced fentanyl, an artificial opioid, is behind the vast majority of recorded deaths, the company says.
CDC officers partially attribute the rise in deaths throughout all demographics to the disruption of prevention, remedy, hurt discount and restoration assist companies through the very worst early days of the coronavirus pandemic. However it additionally discovered that opioid overdose charges in 2020 have been larger in areas the place there may be larger availability of opioid remedy programmes, in comparison with areas with fewer remedy choices.
That’s of little shock to frontline non-governmental organisations battling to offer assist and assist to drug customers, significantly these serving Black and Indigenous communities. They are saying many individuals with drug addictions are unable to simply entry the assistance they want, whether or not because of a scarcity of transportation, medical insurance coverage, or distrust of the companies which might be supplied. Researchers level to racial inequities inside the US healthcare system that systematically exclude racial minorities from entry to drug dependancy remedy and care.
In elements of the US the place the lethal impression of drug use is significantly acute, group leaders and well being officers are actually establishing entry to life-saving remedy programmes and fentanyl take a look at kits by way of trusted locales, equivalent to church buildings and group centres. However the impression of fentanyl in Black and Indigenous communities stays a largely hidden epidemic.
On this episode of The Stream, we’ll study why fentanyl and different highly effective medicine are having a very lethal impression on Black and Indigenous communities within the US, and ask what’s wanted to avoid wasting lives.
On this episode of The Stream, we’re joined by:
Analysis Affiliate, Heart for American Indian Well being, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being