Tragically, fatal overdose claimed 93,000 people in 2020, exceeding all other forms of accidental deaths in the United States. COVID-19 has only worsened the problem, layering a pandemic upon an epidemic, with overdose deaths rising most sharply for Black Americans. Millions more struggle with drug use, which has a multitude of collateral harms from medical to social to economic. The current crisis isone wave in the longstanding public health challenge to drug use in the United States.
We see decisive government action as a key to addressing the crisis, and also recognize the integral role of community-rooted strategies. Our work includes supporting the adoption and scaling of harm reduction strategies, as well as a range of health, legal and social interventions.
Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Vital Strategies partners with governments and affected communities to build tailored, science-backed solutions focused on sustainable reductions in overdose deaths. Other partners in the Bloomberg initiative include The Pew Charitable Trusts, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Presentation, and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Thank you to photographer Graham MacIndoe and writer/interviewer Susan Stellin for beautifully capturing the commitment and stories of people working to #EndOverdose in the United States.
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