Tags: Coronavirus | opioids | overdose | drugs | virus | pandemic

COVID-19 Pandemic May Lead to More Opioid Deaths

Different types of drugs
Different types of drugs (Olya Solodenko/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 27 March 2020 05:47 PM

The coronavirus pandemic that's taken over the United States will likely lead to more drug overdoses, a new report concludes.

BuzzFeed News reported Friday that clinics that are either closed or offering reduced hours and support groups that are no longer meeting in person. This will result in people who need help falling back into the grip of addiction and continuing to use opioids and other deadly drugs.

One big concern are methadone clinics, which require people to be in close proximity to each other as patients show up to receive treatment for opioid use disorder. But social distancing mandates across the country, coupled with the expected increase in people who will seek drug treatment, means clinics may not be able to handle their patients' needs.

"The people who were getting help aren't really getting any help right now at all. Put that on top of trying to stay clean, and you've got yourself one hell of a day," said Danny Pont, who is being treated for opioid use in Rhode Island, told BuzzFeed.

"I suspect there will be a lot of relapses — and with a lot of relapses, there's going to be an uptick in overdoses."

Opioid overdoses have killed hundreds of thousands of people in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that roughly 69,000 people died last year.

President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency in October 2017 to help deal with the opioid problem. Now the country is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I can't remember a time in my life where there were actually two national declared public health emergencies," Devin Reaves, the executive director and co-founder of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition told BuzzFeed.

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The coronavirus pandemic that's taken over the United States will likely lead to more drug overdoses, a new report concludes...
opioids, overdose, drugs, virus, pandemic
Friday, 27 March 2020 05:47 PM
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