Drug Overdose Deaths Spike in Colorado, Setting New Record
The number of Coloradans who died in drug overdoses jumped by nearly 20 percent last year, reaching what one local news outlet called a “grim milestone” potentially boosted by the pandemic.
More than 1,200 people across the state died in 2020 from overdoses involving drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. That is up from more than 1,000 a year earlier, KDVR reports.
The jump came with a drastic rise in deaths from Fentanyl, the dangerous synthetic drug tied to a wave of deaths across the country. Nearly 450 people died in Fentanyl-related deaths across the state, more than double the total in the prior year.
In Denver alone, the nearly 120 people who died from Fentanyl overdoses surged by more than seven times the total just two years earlier.
Experts say stress and isolation caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are likely contributing to the rise in drug deaths.
“Fentanyl is like kerosene. Methamphetamine is like natural gas. Then the Covid pandemic is like, ‘Let’s add some diesel fuel,’” Dr. Joshua Blum, an addiction medicine doctor at Denver Health, told the Colorado Sun. “It’s like one flammable agent added to another.”
The Risk of Drugged Driving in Colorado
The new data puts a spotlight on a startling trend. It is also yet another reminder of the potential risk posed by drugged drivers for anyone on the road in Colorado.
The number of people who had drugs or alcohol in their systems when they were killed in traffic accidents increased significantly during the pandemic, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In late December, for example, a Colorado man was arrested for his role in a suspected drugged driving accident that killed a five-year-old boy. That came about a month after police said speed, alcohol, and drugs were likely to blame for a separate, fatal accident in which two people were killed when a bus plowed into several cars on Highway 83 near Black Forest.
Speak with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
Colorado law empowers people injured in car accidents to seek compensation from those responsible, whether it is a negligent driver, a defective vehicle manufacturer or another party. The law also authorizes certain family members to sue for wrongful death in the tragic event that a loved one is killed in an accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash in Colorado, a Denver car accident lawyer at Levine Law can help. Our attorneys combine decades of experience helping people injured in accidents get the money they deserve. We have dedicated our careers to helping our neighbors in the community get back on their feet after a collision.
Our firm is pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer.