WINTER IN AMERICA –  

Nov. 17, 2021 – The vast majority of these deaths, about 70 percent, were among men between the ages of 25 and 54. And while the opioid crisis has been characterized as one primarily impacting white Americans, a growing number of Black Americans have been affected as well.

There were regional variations in the death counts, with the largest year-over-year increases — exceeding 50 percent — in California, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky. Vermont’s toll was small, but increased by 85 percent during the reporting period.

Increases of about 40 percent or greater were seen in Washington State, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, Alaska, Nebraska, Virginia and the Carolinas. Deaths actually dropped in New Hampshire, New Jersey and South Dakota.

“If we had talked a year ago, I would have told you, ‘Deaths are skyrocketing.’ But I would not have guessed it would get to this,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, medical director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

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