Drug Overdoses Exploding as COVID-19 Rages

Drug Overdoses Exploding as COVID-19 Rages

With all the focus on COVID-19, a second, little-noticed but deadly epidemic has been spreading across the nation.

Until now…

According to hospital and police records, drug overdoses nationally jumped 18 percent in March (the start of the pandemic), 29 percent in April, and 42 percent in May.

Addiction specialists have long identified loneliness, isolation, depression, and anxiety as leading triggers for addiction.

Add in unprecedented economic uncertainty, and this pandemic has created a perfect storm of all four.

Combine these triggering events with stay-at-home orders and the loss of traditional addiction support systems, and one has a prescription for skyrocketing drug and/or alcohol abuse that appears to be accelerating while it spirals out of control.

Tragically, even addicts in search of help haven’t been able to get that assistance without the fear of infection.

Some addiction specialists had hoped the pandemic would disrupt the supply of illicit drugs and lead to a decrease in use.

The opposite appears to have happened.

According to the Washington Post, “people who use drugs appear to be seeking out new suppliers and substances they are less familiar with, increasing the risk of overdose and death. Synthetic drugs and less common substances are increasingly showing up in autopsies and toxicology reports, medical examiners say.”

Aware Recovery Care recognized the scope of the problem in early March and quickly implemented a new program – In-Home Withdrawal Management – designed to augment Aware’s unique in-home addiction recovery program. With In-Home Withdrawal Management, each client receives:

  1. A COVID-19 Risk Assessment at intake.
  2. A customized regimen of medications (MAT) and therapeutics to address individual withdrawal symptoms.
  3. Frequent assessment by a nurse to ensure patients are safe and comfortable.
  4. Protection from the risk of transmittable diseases commonly found in more traditional levels of care.
  5. Aware personnel has protective equipment (PPE)–gowns, eyewear, masks, gloves, and sanitizing equipment.
  6. Behavioral health triage upon the first contact to ensure appropriate care
  7. One-on-one care—no groups, no clinics.

It’s a program that Aware Recovery Care is working to roll out in every state it now serves.

If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help with any aspect of care in Connecticut, Eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Florida, or Southern Maine, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more or to talk to one of our Recovery Specialists, please contact us!