Is COVID-19 Causing a New Wave of Opioid-Related Deaths?
One consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be a spike in drug overdose rates.
The Washington Post reports that as of March 2020, combined fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses were nearly 20 percent higher than through the same month in 2019, according to data collected by the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program. The New York Times, which collected data directly from state and local health agencies, reported in July that fatal drug overdoses were up 13 percent compared to the first half of last year.
Physicians and harm reduction advocates say COVID-19 has disrupted medical care for substance use disorders and imposed financial crunches on treatment centers and local health agencies. Medical examiners interviewed by the Post pointed to an increase in synthetic drugs on toxicology reports.
But this COVID-19 story is really a pr
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