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Drug overdose deaths surged during coronavirus pandemic

Data: CDC; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

New data shows that more Americans died of drug overdoses in the year leading to September 2020 than any 12-month period since the opioid epidemic began.

Why it matters: The stubborn increase of such "deaths of despair" shows that the opioid epidemic still has room to grow and that some of the social distancing steps we took to rein in the pandemic may have brought deadly side effects.

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