Fueled in part by a pandemic that left people isolated, overdose deaths in Lafayette Parish — and the rest of the state — skyrocketed in 2020 as compared to the previous year. 

In Lafayette Parish, there was a 51% increase in accidental overdose deaths last year, according to data from the coroner’s office.

There were 55 people who reportedly died from a drug overdose in 2019 and there were 83 people who died in 2020. 

Most deaths — 55 of them — were caused by a polydrug overdose. Of those deaths, 24 people had both fentanyl and methamphetamine in their system, according to data from the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office. 

Although overdose deaths have risen virtually every year since 2017 in Lafayette Parish, last year’s increase was stark.

And it’s not a problem isolated to the parish.

Every month starting in March, Louisiana saw an increase in overdose deaths compared to 2019. In March, there were 133 people who died from a drug overdose and there were 85 deaths in 2019. The largest increase in deaths was in May, when 198 people died from a drug overdose in 2020 compared to 104 people in 2019.

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