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Nearly 100,000 children in the US lost a parent to a drug overdose or gun violence in 2020, study finds

·1 min

Deaths from drug overdoses and firearm-related injuries have reached record levels in the United States, posing a “double burden” for children. A recent study reveals that over the past two decades, more than 1 million children have lost a parent to a fatal drug overdose or gun violence. In 2020 alone, nearly 100,000 children experienced this loss, almost three times the figure in 1999. The average age of those who died from drug overdoses or firearm-related injuries is around 42, indicating that they likely had young or teenage children. The study emphasizes the negative effects of parental loss on a child’s health, education, and well-being. The disproportionately high rates of firearms deaths among Black fathers contribute to the racial disparities in parental loss. Efforts are needed to address drug overdoses and firearm violence and provide support for affected children.