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Overdose deaths climb in North Carolina in 2020

Overdose deaths in North Carolina increased by 40% in 2020 and continue to be on the rise. The state Department of Health and Human Services announced the data Monday. It counted more than 3,300 deaths from overdoses — that’s roughly nine per day. That’s also nearly 1,000 more deaths than in 2019. A full tally of overdose deaths in 2021 is not complete, but preliminary data shows a continued increase. More than 70% of fatal overdoses in 2020 involved fentanyl, an illicit opioid. State officials say the data in North Carolina mirrors national trends.