br> Reported drug overdose deaths in the United States hit a new high of more than 96,000 in the 12-month period ending March 2021, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Center for Health Statistics. An epidemic in the shadow of a pandemic: drug overdose deaths reach new heightsrecord water in the United States During those 12 months - a period when the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in the United States and put an end to normal daily routines - the The United States has recorded 96,779 drug overdose deaths, an increase of 29.6% from March 2020 to March 2021. The figures released Wednesday are provisional data, as drug overdose deaths demand it lengthy investigation to record, according to CDC. CDC estimate for expected deaths, which explains the delay in reporting, exceeded 99,000 of March 2020 to March 2021. Figures released Wednesday show an increase over the number of drug overdose deaths reported during the reporting period 12 months ending in February, but deaths increased slightly more slowly.There was a 29.7% increase in drug overdose deaths reported between Feb.rier 2020 and February 2021. Three states saw their number of overdose deaths decrease from March 2020 to March 2021: New Hampshire, New Jersey and South Dakota. Overdose deaths reported in South Dakota fell 16.3%, the highest of any state. Learn more How a woman networked to support families of people struggling with addiction Vermont has seen the largest increase in overdose deaths of any state Overdose deaths reported in Vermont increased 85.1% from March 2020 to March 2021. Vermont also saw the largest increase in the February data set.s CDC overdose deaths by drug class, opioids accounted for the largest number of overdose deaths, followed by synthetic opioids excluding methadone. Methadone continued to see the lowest number of overdose deaths. It is important to remember that behind these devastating numbers lie families, friends and community members who mourn the loss of loved ones, said Regina LaBelle, Acting Director of the Executive Office of the Presidential Office of National Drug Control Policy, in a statement, urging Congress to fund President Biden's budget request to improve drug prevention and treatment, among other efforts. Jaime Puerta , center, holds a portrait of her son, Daniel Puerta-Johnson, who died in April 2020 at the age of 16 from a pill containing fentanyl.born last saw the strongest the strongest single-year increase in the number of never-reported overdose deaths in the United States , with more than 93,000 deaths in 2020, the CDC said earlier this year - an increase of nearly 30% from to 2019. At the time, Dr Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, called the data chilling, saying the pandemic created a devastating collision of health crises in America. »Get the weekly CNN Health newsletter Sign up here to get Results arrived with Dr. Sanjay Gupta every Tuesday from the CNN Health team. It has been an incredibly uncertain and stressful time for manyshady people and we are seeing an increase in drug use, difficulties accessing life-saving treatments for substance use disorders, and a tragic increase in overdose deaths, Volkow said more early this year. Wednesday's update covers one of the deadliest periods of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, where cases, hospitalizations and deaths have increased since the end of the pandemic. last year and up to the first months of 2021.