Attorney General James Responds to Record High Overdose Deaths During COVID-19 Pandemic

New York – On Wednesday, July 14th New York Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that overdose deaths topped 93,000 in the United States in 2020 — a record high — as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic ravaged communities across the nation:

“We are in the throes of dual crises, both of which have ravaged our communities and claimed far too many lives. As we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must not forget to reflect on the impact drug overdoses have had on our state and our nation. The United States lost a record high of 93,000 lives last year due to drug overdoses. This excruciating loss overwhelmingly comes at the hands of the different opioid manufacturers and distributors responsible for an epidemic that has decimated communities across New York and the rest of the country.

“These new numbers are a painful sign that swift and concrete action is desperately needed. That is why I have devoted, and will continue to devote, my efforts to sending every dollar possible, as quickly as possible, to local communities to fund opioid abatelement efforts. We’ve already secured the delivery of hundreds of millions of dollars to New York for prevention, treatment, and recovery programs, but more is needed as this crisis is far from over.”