Drug overdoses rose during the pandemic, including in the Tampa Bay area, according to provisional data released by the CDC.
Pinellas County saw 524 deaths, a 31% increase from the previous year and a record high since 2009. Hillsborough County reported at least 538 overdose deaths, about 74% higher than the year prior.
Roughly 7,579 people died of an overdose in Florida last year. Comparatively, fewer than 5,550 died in 2019 within the state.
The rising trend appears to be affecting people nationwide.
According to the CDC, the main driver of drug overdose deaths are synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl.
– Kelly Hayes, Extensive Enterprises Media