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Drug Overdose and COVID-19: The Perfect Storm

Posted on May 25, 2022

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the number of drug overdoses also continues to rise. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), overdose rates are increasing faster during this pandemic than at any other time in recent history. This is a major concern, as we already have an opioid crisis in this country. As a result, the need for substance use disorder treatment is more urgent than ever. In this blog post, we will discuss the link between the pandemic and drug overdoses, and we will also explore ways to get help for those affected with addiction.

It is well known that the opioid crisis in this country is a significant problem.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. But what many people may not realize is that the COVID pandemic is making things worse. The CDC recently published a report showing that opioid overdoses increased by 38% between March and May 2020. These increases were due to both prescription opioids (e.g., oxycodone, hydrocodone) and street drugs like heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

There are many reasons why people might turn to drugs during this time:

  • Stress related to job loss or money issues.
  • Depression over losing a loved one.
  • Just the fact that they’re not getting enough social interaction because of social distancing.

These things can lead to an increased risk for drug use and addiction. But there are also other factors at play, like increased anxiety caused by the pandemic itself (which means more prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications) and changes in how we get drugs from doctors. For example, telemedicine appointments may lead to more people getting prescriptions and refilling them online rather than going into a doctor’s office, where they would usually be screened for problems like addiction.

What can we do to help people who might be struggling with addiction during this time?

There are a few things:

  • First, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease and that people may need treatment to recover. Just because someone is addicted to drugs doesn’t mean they’re a terrible person – they need compassion and support, not judgment.
  • Secondly, we need to ensure that people have access to treatment programs. This might mean reaching out to your local community health center or finding a residential program that works for you or a loved one.
  • Finally, we need to be aware of the potential for relapse. Drug addiction is a chronic disease, and people can relapse even after long periods of sobriety. If someone you know has had a relapse, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

We need to take action now to prevent even more deaths.

It’s essential to address both the opioid epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic. This means increasing access to treatment for addiction and mental health conditions. We need to take steps now to prevent even more deaths in the future. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it is vital to be aware of the dangers and take precautions to stay safe. There are options out there for help. You don’t have to go through this alone.


Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.