Drug, suicide-related deaths jumped 20 percent in 2020

Doctor comforting a depressed patient.

Another grim COVID-19 milestone was reached in 2020 as more than 180,000 Americans succumbed to drugs, alcohol or suicide in the first year of the pandemic. This represents a 20% death rate increase from 2019 and is the highest number of substance misuse deaths ever recorded in a single year. These were the findings of a report released in May 2022 by two leading national mental health organizations, Well Being Trust and Trust for America’s Health (TFAH).

The Well Being Trust/TFAH “Pain in the Nation 2022” annual report also found that deaths resulting from these factors were particularly prevalent among young adults and in communities of color.



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