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The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with excess deaths relative to existing trends.1 Because drug overdoses are a leading cause of death, it is important to investigate the general time-series pattern of overdose deaths during the pandemic. While there have been reports of increased overdoses in 2020,2 other evidence suggests that overdose deaths, especially those due to fentanyl, were increasing before the pandemic.3 Because national data lag data available at the local level, the use of local data is important to examine how closely increases in overdose deaths in 2020 tracked the course of the pandemic.
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Accepted for Publication: March 1, 2021.
Published: April 14, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.7112
Correction: This article was corrected on May 21, 2021, to fix the youngest age category in the Methods section and the key to Figure 2.
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2021 Currie JM et al. JAMA Network Open.
Corresponding Author: Janet M. Currie, PhD, Center for Health and Wellbeing Princeton University, 185A Julis Romo Rabinowitz Bldg, Princeton, NJ 08540 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Author Contributions: Dr Currie had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: All authors.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: All authors.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: All authors.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Zhang reported being an evaluator and contractor with the US Department of Veteran Affairs Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. No other disclosures were reported.
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