As we all process the torrent of information about COVID-19 and its tangents, it seems there is a scarcity of information about the Opioid Epidemic 2020. And when things are out of sight, they tend to be out of mind in this fast-paced world.
But according to a new article in The New York Times, the opioid crisis is very much present and overdose deaths are on the rise. Preliminary information as of July 5, 2020 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows more than 70,000 overdose deaths in 2019, which represent a 5 percent increase over 2018.
And 2020 is on track to be worse. The New York Times mortality data show a 13 percent increase in drug deaths over last year. Fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine deaths are on the rise as well. And the isolation associated with the pandemic creates additional dangers to drug users. In-person visits have been limited. Emotional support may also be in short supply. And taking drugs alone is always more dangerous than with others. Another factor is that the scarcity of drugs of choice, or loss of income may lead to lessening of tolerance – and a higher risk of overdose.
Social isolation has always been a huge component of drug overdose risk … So much of what we’ve been trying to do has been completely unraveled.
Traci Green, Brown University epidemiologist studying drug abuse and addiction.
For The New York Times article and more on the Opioid Epidemic click below:
By, Josh Katz. Abby Goodnough, and Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times
By Ashley Wong, Bridge Magazine
By Alexis Berdine WWMT Channel 3 News – with Rae Green, JD, LPC, CAADC
By Dawn Walcott, LMSW, Excursions – Living Well in Recovery