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Drug Overdose Deaths Rise 63% In L.A. County

Two young women embrace as they look at signs laying on a grassy field made by family and friends of people who died after being poisoned by pills containing fentanyl.
Edith Gonzalez and Kimberly Fuentes embrace as they look at signs made by family and friends of people who died after being poisoned by pills containing fentanyl.
(PATRICK T. FALLON
/
AFP via Getty Images)
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More than 2,100 people died from fatal drug overdoses over a 15-month period in Los Angeles County, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The staggering 63% rise took place between January 2020 and March 2021.

Statewide, overdose deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl and psychostimulants such as methamphetamine drove an almost 50 percent increase in overdose deaths in just one year. Cocaine deaths also increased, as did deaths from opioids such as prescription pain medications.

Nationwide, drug overdose deaths in the U.S. topped 100,000 for the first time, making them more frequent than deaths from car crashes or guns.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said that almost 26,000 people died from fatal drug overdoses over a 15-month period in Los Angeles County.

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