A study recently published in the medical journal The Lancet an estimate that more than 1.5 million children worldwide lost at least one parent, custodial grandparent, or grandparent who lived with them due to a COVID-19-related death during the first 14 months of the pandemic. Were.

The study’s authors say orphanage is an overlooked consequence of the ongoing global pandemic and urge that such a seditious response should be an important part of addressing the problems created by the pandemic.

Traumatic experiences such as the loss of a parent are also associated with an increase in substance abuse and mental health disorders, according to the National Institutes of Health, which helped fund the study.

The US government reported last week that overdose deaths reached a record 93,000 last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

related: Overdose killed 93,000 Americans last year, a new record

This estimate so far eclipses that there has been an increase of approximately 72,000 drug overdose deaths in the past year and is a 29% increase.

“It’s a staggering loss of human life,” said Brown University public health researcher Brandon Marshall.

While prescription painkillers once drove the nation’s overdose epidemic, in recent years they have been replaced first by heroin and then by fentanyl, a dangerously potent opioid. Fentanyl was developed to treat acute pain caused by diseases such as cancer, but it was increasingly sold illegally and mixed with other drugs.

“What’s really driving the increase in overdoses is the increasingly toxic drug supply,” said Shannon Monat, an associate professor of sociology at Syracuse University who researches geographic patterns in overdoses. “Almost all of this increase is fentanyl contamination in some way. Heroin is contaminated. Cocaine is contaminated. Methamphetamine is contaminated.”

Data from the CDC shows that more than 60% of deaths last year involved fentanyl.

Monat said there is no evidence that more Americans started using drugs last year. Rather, the increased deaths were most likely to be people who were already struggling with addiction. Some have told her research team that eviction suspensions and expanded unemployment benefits have left them with more money than usual, leading addicts to say, “When I have money, I’m on my (medicine) supply.” I stock,” said Monnat.

Overdose deaths are just one aspect of the deadliest year in American history. With around 378,000 deaths due to COVID-19, the nation witnessed over 3.3 million deaths.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed death certificates to come up with an estimate of 2020 drug overdose deaths. The estimate of more than 93,000 translates to an average of more than 250 deaths each day, or about 11 per hour.

related: Americans Lost 5.5 Million Collective Years of Life to COVID-19, Pew Says

Meanwhile, the novel coronavirus caused an estimated loss of around 5.5 million years of life in the US in 2020 alone, according to a report by the Pew Research Center published last month.

Pew researchers say COVID-19 contributed to more lost years of life for Americans than all accidental deaths combined in a typical year.

Since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, more than 600,000 Americans have lost their lives to the deadly virus and nearly 380,000 Americans died of COVID-19 in 2020 alone.

Pew researchers say COVID-19 deaths dwarf deaths from accidents, stroke, diabetes, liver disease and Alzheimer’s.

According to some provisional data for the end of 2019 and 2020, cancer and heart disease are the only causes of death, which caused more loss of life than COVID-19.

To reach the conclusions, the Pew researchers say they compared the years of life lost to COVID-19 in 2020 with other mortality data in 2019 because a detailed analysis of deaths for 2020 is not yet available.

“It is important to note that the estimated number of life years lost to COVID-19 in 2020 is not based on a full calendar year of data,” the Pew researchers said.

This story was reported from Los Angeles. Jordan Smith and The Associated Press contributed.