The rates of accidental overdose throughout the United States have been exceptionally high for the past few decades. However, these numbers have jumped astronomically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say. It was reported that suspected drug-related overdoses jumped 18 percent in March, 29 percent in April, and a shocking 42 percent in May. In many states across the US, namely on the East Coast, overdose-related death rates have nearly doubled since the nationwide lockdown was first implemented.
Addiction specialists and medical professionals who have been examining what has become widely known as the “hidden pandemic” have discovered several contributing factors. What has led to a sharp and significant increase in drug overdoses over the past three months? Some of the most prominent factors include financial hardship due to layoffs and issues with unemployment, ongoing social isolation, and issues with the long-standing drug trade. While drug trade disruptions might seem like a good thing, this opens up the opportunity for local dealers to sell more impure and unsafe substances based on increasingly high demand.
During this scary and uncertain time, people are going to desperate measures to make ends meet – even if that means selling innocent men and women a potentially lethal substance. This is also a time of desperation, and those who were already struggling with addictive disorders are turning to new – more dangerous – chemical substances.
The Devastation of Social Isolation
Those who are in recovery rely very heavily on social support and positive social interaction. One of the biggest examples of this is Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step programs. Those in recovery must utilize 12 step meetings as part of their more comprehensive recovery programs to keep themselves accountable and continuously give back to their recovery communities. Social distancing mandates have kept people apart, and have completely shut down the in-person component of 12 step meetings. While many meetings have moved to a virtual format, taking advantage of online platforms like Zoom, those in recovery are now responsible for keeping themselves accountable.
Addiction Rises Because of COVID-19 Crisis
It is generally far easier to convince yourself not to attend a virtual meeting than to convince yourself not to attend an in-person meeting where you see the same friendly faces week after week – where if you skip a week and fail to show up, you will have people calling you and asking you if you are alright. It is also easy for men and women in recovery who are spending ample time alone and isolated to begin falling victim to their self-destructive thinking patterns. Those in recovery will generally need an outside opinion from time to time. A lack of open and honest conversation with other, like-minded individuals can be detrimental to overall recovery.
Those who are actively using drugs and who are sequestered away from others are also more likely to experience serious consequences if they do take more than intended. Men and women who are using drugs alone are significantly more prone to overdose and overdose-related death.
Allure Detox – Our Program of Recovery
One of the most serious issues that experts have uncovered is the need for more treatment funding. Treatment centers are now more important than ever, but many are under-funded and have been forced to implement shutdowns and extensive lay-offs. The good news is that Allure Detox is an essential business, and our doors have stayed open during the entire pandemic – offering quality clinical care to those who need it.
If you have been struggling with social isolation or your drug abuse disorder has worsened since lockdowns began, we are available to help. Give us a call today to get started on your journey of drug addiction recovery. No matter what your current circumstances, recovery is possible.