(ETH) – Social isolation, loss of jobs, and disruption of treatment services seem to be likely responsible for not only huge spikes in depression snd suicide but now new a new report is revealing that Opioid deaths are also spiking across the U.S. in locations that remain locked down from the ongoing coronavirus mandates, according to the latest from state and county health officials.
Health officials and experts warn that increased isolation and job loss due to statewide shutdowns are likely the possible factors for the surge in drug-related deaths. “The pandemic has really increased risk factors for substance abuse disorder,” Rebecca Shultz, director of community health at the Onondaga County Health Department, told Syracuse.com.
Opioid deaths in Onondaga County, N.Y., jumped to 86 in the first six months of 2020, according to the county health department. This number was nearly double the reported 44 fatalities in the first half of 2019, the outlet reported, citing the county medical examiner’s office.
Oregon saw a 70% increase in opioid overdose deaths in April and May 2020 compared to the same time last year, the Oregon Health Authority said. While the department called the rise an “alarming spike,” it also said it was “premature to say how much of the spike in overdose deaths are attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“However, the realization that we will be dealing with COVID-19 for some time, and other stressors related to jobs, school, and social isolation, may increase feelings of anxiety and depression, and that can lead to a harmful level of alcohol or other drug use,” said Tom Jeanne, deputy state health officer, and deputy state epidemiologist. MORE