The Washington Post has reported that suspected overdoses ,not all of them fatal, nationally jumped 18% in March 2020, 29% in April 2020, and 42% in May 2020. These numbers were collected from data gathered from ambulance teams, hospitals, and police. The theory is that the culprit behind the spikes is the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Post reported that there is emerging evidence that suggests that the rise is due to the continued isolation, economic devastation, and disruptions to the drug trade that have occurred in recent months.
Covid-19 has impacted the drug supply chain by closing borders and shutting down cities. Consequently, people are using synthetic substances and substances they are less familiar with, which increases the risk of overdose and death.
The shelter-in-place orders and social distancing have increased isolation resulting in more individuals using drugs alone. Consequently, there is no one there to call 911 or to administer the life-saving drug Narcan, should that be necessary.
Record unemployment and the resulting unstable economy may also be to blame. Research has established strong connections between a struggling and stagnant economy and increases in suicide, drug use, and overdoses.
Lastly, many treatment centers have been forced to close or severely scale back their admissions, making help more difficult for those in need to obtain. Additionally, as the economy continues to struggle and states contend with budget cuts, there is concern that mental health or substance use programs may be the first to be cut as this often happens during an economic downturn. Many economists and health experts agree that going forward the focus should be on finding safe ways to reopen the economy while increasing access to mental health and substance use treatment.
New Bridge Foundation is currently open and accepting clients. We have put into place policies and procedures meant to ensure the safety of new clients, current clients, and staff members. The increase in overdoses reported by the Washington Post is concerning and alarming. Addiction has always been a disease of isolation. Increased isolation due to the pandemic has and will continue to put lives at risk. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our admissions department at (800) 785-2400 or (510) 548-7270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We accept most major insurance companies.