The U.S. CDC released grim statistics suggesting more than 80,000 drug overdoses occurred over the course of a single year, ending in March 2020. CDC Director Redfield cites the pandemic as exacerbating the problem. While deaths related to COVID-19 reach record highs in the U.S., new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that deaths from drug overdoses are accelerating amid the pandemic, signaling the continued emotional strain the pandemic is having on people. The CDC said that more than 81,000 drug overdose fatalities occurred in the U.S. over the last 12 months, ending in May 2020. This is the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a year-long period, officials said in a press release. Although the observed time frame encompasses months outside the COVID-19 pandemic, experts believe the record-high numbers are linked to the onset of the pandemic.