RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) – 2020 has shown to be the deadliest year on record for drug overdoses in the country.
The CDC says 93,000 people died from an overdose last year. That’s a nearly 30% increase from 2019. Kentucky was a state that saw one of the highest increase in deaths.
When you average those 93,000 drug overdose deaths, that equals to more than 250 deaths a day, or about 11 an hour.
Here in Kentucky, overdoses jumped 54% from 2019 to 2020. Over 2,100 deaths were reported in the commonwealth last year.
There was also a large increase in neighboring West Virginia as well as South Carolina and California.
Police say for them, their focus is targeting the suppliers who are bringing these drugs into the city that are harming and killing people.
“People that have an addiction issue, they think they’re purchasing something, and they’re really not. These dealers are selling these drugs out here that are very deadly when someone consumes them. We’re going after the people that are selling the stuff,” Richmond Police Chief Rodney Richardson said
In the city of Richmond, there were 32 confirmed fatal overdoses in 2020. The chief says they’ve already passed that number for 2021.
The CDC says fentanyl was involved in more than 60% of the overdose deaths last year.