The US drug epidemic exploded while Americans were locked up, fueled by the coronavirus pandemic and an increase in fentanyl use.

According to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100,000 people died in the United States from drug overdoses between May 2020 and April 2021.

That’s a terrible new record for drug overdose deaths, a near-30% increase from the same time last year and a near-doubling in the last five years.

The drug epidemic grew concurrently with the Covid-19 pandemic, which claimed approximately 509,000 lives during the same time period. The majority of those drug overdose deaths were caused by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, a painkiller 50-100 times more potent than morphine.

The pandemic had an impact. “In a crisis of this magnitude, those who are already using drugs may increase their dosage, and those who are in recovery may relapse. It’s an occurrence that we’ve witnessed and may have predicted “According to Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Fake prescription pills that are lethal. According to a US Drug Enforcement Administration warning issued in September, illegal drugs are frequently disguised as prescription pills and sold online and through social media. During the same month, the DEA announced over 800 arrests and the seizure of over 1.8 million pills as part of a two-month sweep.

The agency stated that fentanyl has been seized in every state, and in September it issued an urgent warning about fake prescription pills laced with the drug.

A mere 2 milligrams can be lethal, and they’re frequently mixed in with fake Oxycontin, Percocet, or other drugs.

Who is a drug addict? A large number of people. In 2019, an estimated 10.1 million Americans aged 12 and up misused opioids, including 9.7 million prescription pain reliever users and 745,000 heroin users. There was the 28-year-old man in Northern California who died after taking a fentanyl-laced fake pain pill.

There was the 11-month-old baby who died from a fentanyl overdose after being left unsupervised in North Carolina. Her mother and grandmother are being prosecuted.

Where do they get their drugs? Take a look at these two Las Vegas stories: A 27-year-old man is accused of selling fentanyl-laced pills to a 32-year-old man who died of fentanyl toxicity via Snapchat.

A 21-year-old woman known on Snapchat as “yungdrugaddict” was charged with second-degree murder for selling fentanyl-laced pills that killed a woman her age. What does Snapchat have to say? Snapchat claims in an October 7 statement on its website that it is improving its collaboration with law enforcement and using artificial intelligence and community reports to identify and remove drug dealers from the platform.

How does fentanyl get to the United States? Chemicals used to manufacture the drug are frequently shipped from China to the United States or Mexico for production by drug cartels in Mexico and then smuggled into the United States.

Small mailed shipments of less than a kilogram of the drug are possible.

The Chinese government’s fentanyl crackdown has slowed this method. Another source of fentanyl in the United States is India. What is Vice President Joe Biden up to? According to the administration, $4 billion in funding from the Covid-19 relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan, will be used to combat overdose deaths, including expanding services for substance use disorder and mental health.

According to Biden, his administration is also “working to make health coverage more accessible and affordable for all Americans, so that more people who need care can get it.”