Economic Downturn, Stay-at-Home Orders Amid COVID-19 Outbreak Fuel Overdose Crisis: Experts

Suspected overdoses have jumped by 18 percent in the United States since March (pdf) after state-mandated stay-at-home orders were introduced and 62 percent of the participating counties experienced an increase in overdose submissions, according to statistics by the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), a surveillance system that provides near real-time suspected overdose data nationally.

A report titled “Projected Deaths of Despair from COVID-19” by the Graham Center (pdf) identified drugs to be one of the three causes of what it defines as “deaths of despair”—the other two being alcohol and suicide.

“Deaths of despair have been on the rise for the last decade, and in the context of COVID-19, deaths of despair should be seen as the epidemic within the pandemic,” the report states; it estimates potentially an additional 68,000 deaths to “despair” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Theepochtimes Economic Downturn, Stay-at-Home Orders Amid COVID-19 Outbreak Fuel Overdose Crisis: Experts