AMA Releases Issue Briefs on Worsening Epidemic, State-Level Reports to Increase Access to Evidence-

Updated: Jun 18

Drug overdose epidemic worsened during the COVID pandemic

The nation’s COVID pandemic made the nation’s drug overdose epidemic worse. This issue brief highlights media and other reports showing increases in drug overdose mortality and other concerns relating to access to evidence-based care for substance use disorders, patients with pain as well as harm reduction services. The reports below cite data from multiple and varied sources, including national, state and local public health agencies, law enforcement, emergency medical services, hospitals, treatment centers, research journals and others. Every state has reported a spike or increase in overdose deaths or other problems during the COVID pandemic.

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Reports of efforts to help the nation's overdose epidemic

Despite the continuing COVID-19 global pandemic and the nation’s worsening drug overdose epidemic, the American Medical Association also has seen efforts in many states to increase access to evidencebased treatment. The AMA remains greatly concerned by a continuing number of reports from national, state and local media suggesting increases in opioid- and other drug-related mortality—particularly from illicitly manufactured fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, methamphetamine and cocaine. The AMA also continues to highlight the latest research and data to help provide evidence-based data and other information to help policymakers undertake meaningful public health interventions.

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