Record-breaking 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2020, U.S. government reports

July 15, 2021
Opioids

Regence encourages members to explore available behavioral health resources

By Regence

Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 2020 was a record year for drug overdose deaths—more than 93,000 Americans, or more than 250 people every day, a nearly 30 percent increase nationally from the previous year.

Communities nationwide experienced a rise in overdose deaths, including those Regence serves. The CDC reports Washington state experienced a 37.3% increase in overdoses, followed by Oregon (30.3%), Utah (7.2%) and Idaho (6.8%), numbers that represent thousands of lost loved ones.  

Resources and support for addiction

Addiction, medically known as a substance use disorder, is a condition that affects far more people than many realize. More than 21 million people in the U.S. struggle with some form of addiction; rates of alcohol use also rose sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access continues to be an issue for people seeking help to treat addiction and other related health conditions. Recognizing the devastating effects of the opioid crisis, Regence offers members and the broader community resources and information on how to get help. This includes options for mental health treatment through telehealth or other virtual care. In 2020 Regence also made naloxone, a medication that temporarily reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, more accessible to members by reducing cost barriers.

Getting help

If you or a loved one needs help with opioid addiction, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a national helpline that provides free 24-hour treatment referral and information. It's completely confidential and is for individuals facing mental illness and substance abuse, as well as their family members. Call 1 (800) 662-HELP (4357) to learn more.

Regence members can also call the number on the back of their ID cards to speak with one of our customer service professionals, who can help connect them to care.

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