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Overdoses and the Pandemic

The year 2020 will go down in history in the annals of healthcare.

Yes – the COVID-19 pandemic has gotten the most attention. Less often mentioned is the terrifying impact the pandemic had on alcoholism and drug abuse in America.

Early data suggests that 2020 will be the deadliest year ever for drug overdose deaths. The year is also poised to be one of the worst for alcohol-related illnesses and deaths.

How do we know?

CDC and U.S. hospital systems data.

And one data point in particular really jumps out.

In the 12-months ending May 2020, there were over 81,000 deaths from opioid overdoses in the U.S.

That is the highest level ever recorded.

But even these sources have holes in their data. 

In an attempt to see the entire scope of the problem, the Bloomberg Opioid Initiative, a $50 million collaboration between Vital Strategies, the Pew Charitable Trusts, Johns Hopkins University, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the CDC Foundation, is tracking every public report of overdose deaths.

Under this effort, the Opioid Initiative is tracking where the crisis is getting worse by region and whether particular racial and economic groups are suffering disproportionately.

Though the data is still being analyzed, evidence points to financial hardship and greatly diminished mental health support as two significant factors driving the increase in overdose deaths.

If you're struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs during this endless pandemic and need help in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, 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, please contact one of our Recovery Specialists.

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