Drug Overdoses Are Plaguing These American Cities, Counties: REPORT

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Jake Smith Contributor
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The number of deaths from drug overdoses across the U.S. has doubled since 2015, according to data collected by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Over 100,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses in 2021, the largest number on record, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Roughly 75% of overdose deaths in the U.S. are from opioids, primarily synthetic opioids and fentanyl.

Baltimore, Maryland had 17.4 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people in 2022, making it the deadliest county for drug overdoses in that category, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

In both second and third place in that category were counties located in West Virginia: McDowell County at 17.3 deaths per 100,000, and Cabell County at 16.6 deaths per 100,000, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. In fourth place was St. Louis, Missouri, with an overdose death rate of 14.7 per 100,000 people, and in fifth was Raleigh County – another West Virginia location – with a rate of 14.2 deaths per 100,000. (RELATED: More Restaurants, Bars Stock Up On Fentanyl, Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug As Deaths Soar)

The national average for drug overdose deaths is 2.8 people per 100,000, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Baltimore was also number one for overdose deaths per 100,000 in areas with over 500,000 people, beating out almost every other county and city in the country by a factor of two, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. In second place was Davidson County, Tennessee, with 10.1 deaths per 100,000, and in third was Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania with 8.8 deaths per 100,000.

In that same category, Washington, D.C., was in fifth place at 7.7 deaths per 100,000, and San Francisco County, California, was in seventh place at 7.2 deaths per 100,000, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

China is the main producer of fentanyl precursor chemicals, which are then transported overseas to countries like Mexico, where the chemicals are processed into final products and trafficked at high volumes into the U.S. Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, made up 75% of total overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2021.

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