Escalating Overdose Deaths 2020 – WZZM13 Interview

overdose deaths

Sanford Chief Medical Officer, Gilbert Al Masterson, M.D.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released their provisional drug overdose death counts for 2020. Based on mortality data, 93,000 people in the US died from drug overdoses in 2020. This represents an increase of 29% over 2019. (West Michigan currently shows a 16% increase, with incomplete data.)


The drug categories included are heroin; natural opioid analgesics (e.g., morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone); methadone; synthetic opioids (e.g., fentanyl and tramadol); cocaine; and psychostimulants with abuse potential including methamphetamine.


Depression, anxiety, isolation, and substance use are all over the top. What’s more, 1 out of 5 who have had a coronavirus infection, will end up having a depression or anxiety crisis in the six-months following their diagnosis.

Gilbert Al Masterson, M.D., Sanford Chief Medical Officer


Escalating Overdose Deaths 2020 – WZZM13 Interview

Thanks to WZZM13 and reporter, Alana Holland, for their informed interview with Sanford Chief Medical Officer, Gilbert Masterson, M.D.. For the interview, click the link below:


Alana Holland, WZZM13 News


If you or a loved one are looking for help/treatment for a mental health or substance use disorder, call Sanford Behavioral Health at 616.202.3326



Sanford Behavioral Health is licensed and accredited as an addiction, eating disorder, and co-occurring mental health treatment facility, serving all of Michigan and beyond. Each of Sanford’s facilities in Greater Grand Rapids is carefully and diligently crafted to create a welcoming and comforting environment. Sanford is led by a psychiatrist-led team of medical, clinical, and support personnel providing medication-assisted, evidenced-based treatment to residential, outpatient, and telehealth patients. For more information, visit