DENVER (KDVR) — The Coronavirus pandemic dominated health headlines, but experts say there is a second health crisis happening and that is the rise of deadly drug overdoses.

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, and to shed light on this issue QuoteWizard has compiled the latest data.

Since 2015, the numbers show a steady increase in the number of overdose deaths, but in the last two years, it has increased significantly.

The U.S. went from about 70,000 deaths in 2019 to over 100,000 deaths in the last year nationwide.

The data also found Colorado had been hit exceptionally hard, ranking 16th nationwide.

In that same 12-month time period, Colorado has reached almost 2,000 drug-related overdose deaths.

“So when we look at Colorado, we found that overdose deaths are increasing faster in Colorado than they are in a lot of other states. Colorado already has a higher rate of overdose deaths than a lot of other states,” said Nick VinZant, senior research analyst at QuoteWizard.

QuoteWizard also found that 70% of overdose deaths are due to opioids including synthetic ones like fentanyl which have been in our headlines a lot here in Colorado.

“So, this is not an isolated incident. This is happening every day in every state all the time and it is becoming a bigger and bigger problem and it is happening quickly,” said VinZant.

As far as the reason why we’re seeing an increase in these overdose deaths, VinZant said it could largely be due to pandemic stressors. But even though the pandemic has nearly subsided, these numbers are still on an upward trend.

“It’s tough to really have like a direct this is why answer, but what we noticed is that it really started to increase at the beginning of the pandemic and I think we all can relate that that was hard times. People were worried about what’s going to happen with their health, their job, their families and I think that there is definitely a pattern of the deaths starting to rise as societal troubles got worse. I do think that there is a pattern in that relationship,” VinZant said.

To read the full study, “A Growing Crisis: Drug Overdose Deaths in America,” from Quote Wizard, visit their website.