"Policymakers should understand that the drug-overdose crisis is a crisis of single men," writes Patrick T. Brown in City Journal.
The United States now averages about 275 drug-related deaths per day, largely from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Many are aware by now that the spike in drug overdoses has hit white men without a college degree hardest (though black men are, unfortunately, gaining ground in this area). But one factor continues to be underdiscussed: it is disproportionately a crisis of single men.
While this trend has been noticeable over the past decade, the pandemic-afflicted year of 2020 seems to have thrown fuel on the fire. The latest CDC data shows that 35,419 single and divorced prime-age (25- to 54-year-old) men died of drug-related causes, a 35 percent increase from the year before. The never-married make up about one-third of the prime-age male population, but compose two-thirds of that demographic’s drug-related deaths. Similarly, the share of prime-age divorced men who succumbed to drug overdoses was nearly twice their share of the population at large.