Overdose deaths continue to rise, with Fentanyl and Meth being the main culprits

Mr. Biden is the first president to embrace harm reduction, one approach which has been criticized by some for empowering drug users, but praised by addiction experts as a way to keep addicts alive while providing access to care and support.

Instead of pushing for abstinence, the approach aims to reduce the risk of death or contracting infectious diseases by offering sterile equipment, through exchanges of needles, for example, or tools to check for fentanyl in drugs. Strips capable of detecting fentanyl have become increasingly valuable resources for local health officials, and some states have recently relocated decriminalize themalso like others resist.

The causes of the continued increase in overdoses are complex and difficult to unravel, experts said. But state health officials and some addiction experts have said that the spike in overdose, which began before the pandemic, cannot be attributed solely to the ensuing disruptions or a sharp rise in the number of Americans using drugs.

Social isolation and economic dislocation, which were rife during the pandemic, tend to cause relapses in drug use and may have contributed to the rise in overdoses. The closures in early 2020 also caused some addiction treatment providers to be temporarily closed. But the pandemic alone does not explain the recent trend.

Policy changes made during the pandemic may have helped prevent more deaths. This was stated by Regina LaBelle, an expert on addiction policy at Georgetown University soon Research found that loosening the rules to allow methadone home treatment was beneficial, along with an increase in telemedicine treatment.

“The difference in what we’re seeing now isn’t how many people are using,” said Dr. According to data released Wednesday, Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief health officer, saw the largest increase in the death rate from drug overdose of any state in the nation.