The coronavirus crisis has been far more impactful to American society than initially understood, as our people are continuing to isolate in order to beat back the spread of the virus.
Only recently have any COVID-19 vaccines become available, and those that have begun distribution are doing so in a prioritized manner that won’t see much of the general public receive inoculations until the spring or later. This has meant that the coronavirus lockdowns will likely continue for some time, as social-distancing remains the move effective way of keeping the virus at bay.
But there has been some serious collateral damage from the COVID-19 pandemic as well, with the economy in tatters and a vast number of businesses struggling to remain relevant.
Furthermore, there have been a number of mental health issues to deal with as well, and the CDC is warning that the damage in tat realm may be far worse than previously imagined.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that there were 81,230 drug overdose deaths in the year ending May 2020 — a new record, driven by fentanyl, with deaths accelerating during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
The report notes “substantial increases in drug overdose deaths across the United States, primarily driven by rapid increases in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids excluding methadone … likely illicitly manufactured fentanyl.”
It also indicates “a concerning acceleration of the increase in drug overdose deaths, with the largest increase recorded
from March 2020 to May 2020, coinciding with the implementation of widespread mitigation measures for the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Though overdose deaths declined 4.1% from 2017 to 2018, the CDC says, they have recently accelerated. The surge began before the pandemic, but accelerated during the pandemic.
Geographically, there has also been a surge in overdose deaths west of the Mississippi, “consistent with large increases in illicitly manufactured fentanyl availability in western states and increases in fentanyl positivity in clinical toxicology drugs tests in the West after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The CDC’s suggestion for dealing with this extra layer of sorrow was for local health leaders to emphasize the dangers of taking drugs while alone, in hopes of preventing more overdose deaths.
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