Statement from National Council for Mental Wellbeing President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia on New CDC Overdose Death Numbers


Washington D.C. (August 12, 2021) – Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released provisional data finding the United States had at least 94,134 overdose deaths between January 2020 and January 2021 – a 31% increase compared to the previous year. National Council for Mental Wellbeing President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia released the following statement in response:

“As the number of people dying from drug overdoses continue to escalate, we encourage local, state and federal officials to strengthen their response to this crisis through harm reduction strategies. Increasing support for harm reduction strategies, including syringe service programs, will increase access to disease-prevention services and provide resources for recovery. Syringe service programs in particular, prevent HIV, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases that spread when people share needles. In addition, people who inject drugs who regularly use a syringe service program are more than five times as likely to enter treatment for a substance use disorder and nearly three times as likely to report reducing or discontinuing injection as those who have never used one. Promoting harm reduction programs is an essential tool to preventing overdose fatalities.”

About The National Council

Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,400 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, we have trained more than 3 million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.