A new report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that deaths from drug overdoses increased exponentially during the pandemic. During the 12-month reporting period, 81,000 people died in the United States, the highest number of deaths from overdose in any 12-month period.
The ‘opioid epidemic’ has not been noticed, nor has it made headlines in mainstream media, yet it has hit our society and especially our youth like never before.
According to data recently released by the CDC, more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020. That’s the most deaths from opioids in any 12-month period.
According to the report, deaths from synthetic opioids increased by 38.4%, the largest increase of any drug. Deaths from cocaine increased by 26.5%. The death curve became exponential in the February-May period, just as the pandemic and the lockdowns began.
This data corresponds to that provided by the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, a federal initiative that collects data from ambulance, hospital, and police teams. It found that overdose deaths were up 18% in March from the previous March. April and May saw even sharper increases of 29% and 42%, respectively.
The pandemic interfered with the ability of addicts to obtain daily medication and attend support groups.
“Many patients receive medication and counseling at methadone clinics,” said Sebastian Seiguer, CEO of emocha Health, a telehealth platform that helps addicts improve medication adherence. “They have to go in person to the clinic. But during the pandemic, you don’t want patients going to the clinic every day. So, those patients did not have the benefit of the routine that keeps them in counseling and on their medication.”
Destiny Rozek, 22, of Holbrook, New York, has been battling opioid addiction for the past several years. But according to her testimony to The Guardian, the pandemic has put obstacles in the way of recovery for all addicts.
Rozek explained that several detoxification facilities have closed and CCP Virus safety protocols have limited the assistance that other facilities once provided. According to her testimony, she went to a detox center several weeks ago, but was released after a couple of nights because they needed space.
Many addiction treatment centers in the United States have had to close, as they struggle with financial losses and are required to adhere to safety protocols. Especially in those Democratic states where the measures imposed by the authorities force massive closures without any kind of support activities such as recovery centers and churches, which also play a fundamental role in this type of problem.