Daily reports have posted ever-increasing numbers of cases of Covid-19, as well as the constantly rising number of deaths. Attention to the pandemic has overshadowed the steadily rising death toll from addiction.
The number of Americans dying from drug overdoses rose sharply in the first quarter of the year, putting the country on track for setting a new record for annual overdose deaths. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people in general and addiction services more specifically is also playing a role.
The lower 2018 numbers represented the first decline in U.S. drug overdose deaths in three decades and policymakers had hoped the decline marked a turn-around or plateau in annual drug-related deaths.
The intertwining of symptoms of chronic pain and substance abuse disorder are sometimes hard to separate. Both can create physical, social, emotional, and economic effects. People who have chronic pain, substance abuse disorder or both may have similar symptoms including insomnia, depression, and impaired functioning.
Opioid overdose deaths have declined slightly in the last few years, in part because of the availability of Naloxone. Commonly administered in emergency rooms or by first responders when an opioid overdose is suspected, Naloxone is a medication that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose by attaching to opioid receptors, reversing and blocking the effects of other opioids in the system.
The fact that the United States is in the midst of an “Opioid Crisis” or an “Opioid Epidemic” is old news. Statistics are staggering when we look at the number of people who are addicted to opioids and the rising number of opioid deaths each year.
While the lead headline from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) touted “Marijuana use at historic highs among college-age adults,” the institute could have also released some positive headlines.
It’s National Recovery Month, and according to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s 2018 report, deaths caused by the lethal synthetic opioid have doubled in recent years.
A recently released report suggests that there will be an increased need for recovery services in the years ahead.
Over the past 15 years communities have been affected, families destroyed, and thousands of individuals have died during the ongoing opioid epidemic. In only six years, statistics show that the rate of overdose deaths doubled from 21,089 in 2010 to 42,249 in 2016.