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Policy Brief: The Overdose Crisis in California 2017 to 2021

Analysis of most recent overdose data finds that preventable drug-related overdose deaths have doubled since 2017.  The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with an acceleration of the overdose crisis with about 1,000 additional unpredicted deaths in 2020.  Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl were responsible for almost 5,000 more deaths in the twelve month period before June 30, 2021, an 800% increase.