Opioid Overdoses in 2020 Increased in Iowa – But There’s Hope
2020 was a difficult year for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic took lives, made millions worldwide sick, caused massive job loss... but as is always the case: things do get better. In fact, as I write this, 2,084,341 vaccines have been put in arms here in Iowa according to the Iowa State Dashboard.
One more reminder on the year 2020 was, Radio Iowa reports the number of opioid overdose deaths were up 35% when compared to 2019. The reports indicates the director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy says the record 212 deaths happened despite great effort to raise awareness. Sadly, the 212 overdose lives lost breaks the previous record of 206 deaths set in 2017.
One of the factors in the increase in opioid deaths stems from a mixture of black market fentanyl being injected into heroine by drug dealers. Users think they are getting some fentanyl, but instead are getting pure fentanyl, or mostly fentanyl which can be very dangerous, or even deadly.
The news is not all doom and gloom. According to the report, Iowa actually has one of the lowest rates of drug overdose deaths in the nation. There’s also more access and use of naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal or rescue drug.