Opioid epidemic gets worse as coronavirus pandemic drags on

The United States showed signs that it was turning the tide of the opioid crisis until March, when overdoses skyrocketed again. Now rehabilitation services and treatment centers need more help, while social distancing requirements make it tougher to access resources.

“I think we’re going to need to be prepared to see increasing numbers of individuals struggling,” says Christopher Yadron, Vice President of the west region of the Betty Ford Foundation.

He says overdoses have jumped 42% since the pandemic began, and his organization has also seen a spike in requests for treatment. Addiction and a global pandemic have a lot in common, Yadon says, and one is not helping make the other better.

“Both are very isolating, both leave people cut off from support, from help … which really exacerbate the situation.”