Girl Planting seeds

Pandemic and Epidemic Collide in COVID-19

As the world’s attention remains focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, essential attention is turned away from other life-threatening epidemics, including opioid addiction. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, opioid misuse and addiction had become rampant in the U.S. In the late 1990s, drug companies assured doctors that opioid pain relievers were safe and nonaddictive, leading to an increase in prescribing rates. Opioid overdose rates increased rapidly as it became clear that opioids can be highly addictive. In 2018, 46,802 Americans died from an opioid overdose while 1.7 million suffered from substance use disorders related to opioid pain relievers. The economic burden of prescription opioid misuse alone is $78.5 billion in the U.S. annually, which includes not only health care costs but also lost productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice involvement. The economic toll, and the death toll, from the opioid epidemic is, sadly, set to rise even further now that it has collided with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more....

 

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