Before the pandemic the US had a record drug epidemic that killed more than 90 thousand people. The overdose death set a record for the year ending in November 2020.
During the pandemic and government imposed shutdown, the drug crisis spread to untouched regions. The centers for disease control said the spread was exacerbated by the recession and job losses.
Counseling and inpatient clinics closed.
Without support, many Americans relapsed and some tried opioids for the first time.
Opioids account for about three fourths of the overdoses.