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Someone dies of an overdose about every 5 minutes, often as a result of fentanyl and meth. Drug use also spurs HIV and hepatitis outbreaks.
The White House strategy embraces syringe services, access to housing and naloxone as three science-based approaches.
More fentanyl in the drug supply increases fatal overdoses, but other factors also fuel the crisis in Black communities.
Fatal drug overdoses—mostly due to opioids, including fentanyl, but also meth and cocaine—spiked 28.5% during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addiction advocates stress that COVID-19 shifted the burden of the opioid epidemic to African-American communities.
The death rate spiked right after the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Researchers believe that lack of economic opportunity drives an increase in opioid use among local residents.
Opioid use disorder is fueling a rise in youth hepatitis C cases and a stabilization of a long decline in HIV among people who use drugs.
Experts are not certain what this latest trend signifies for the trajectory of the opioid use disorder epidemic, however.
An analysis of newly diagnosed youths in California found they had limited access to opioid-related harm reduction services.
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