Overdose deaths surge in 2020 amid pandemic

The year 2020 led to another new record no one wanted – overdose deaths.

Overdose deaths jumped up to 93,000 last year. That is a 30 percent increase, up from 72,000 deaths the year before.

Experts say lockdowns coupled with other pandemic restrictions isolated those with drug addictions, making treatment harder to get.


A California 24-year-old who survived an overdose shared what happened leading up to it.

"Just being confined in that isolated environment, the thought crept back into my head that drinking and using would be at least somewhat entertaining. So my relapse started with alcohol. I didn't go directly back into opioids at first," they said.

The DEA Chicago Division says the problem is prevalent in our area as well. Since January, agents have seized nearly 99 kilograms of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances and over 36,000 pills.