Unofficial data for the year 2020 from the Lexington County Coroner’s Office indicates that overdose deaths were up sharply in 2020. Suicides were up too. (Lexington County Coroner’s Office photo)
There were 60 overdose deaths in 2019, and 104 in 2020, according to unofficial totals. Candace Berry, Chief Deputy Coroner in the office of Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher provided the statistics.
In 2019 there were 51 suicides, compared to approximately 56 suicides in 2020.
Just over half of the total cases handled by the coroner’s office were individuals 75-years-old and older. The number of deaths of individuals 75-years-old and older was similar to 2019, Berry stated in an email.
More detailed data from the coroner’s office is expected later in the year.
COVID-19 fears and the recession caused by COVID lockdowns were associated with a 10 percent to 60 percent increase in deaths of despair, according to research published by Casey Mulligan, professor of economics at the University of Chicago.