Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Why No National Lockdown To "Slow The Spread" Of The Two Piece And A Biscuit Pandemic?


thedailybeast  |  Amid social distancing, authorities nationwide are reporting a surge in fatal opioid overdoses. Addiction and recovery advocates say the U.S. is now battling two epidemics at once. From 1999 to 2018, opioid overdoses involving prescription and illicit drugs have killed nearly 450,000 Americans. (One recent study found an additional 99,160 opioid deaths, previously unreported because of incomplete medical records.)

In Franklin County, Ohio, where Lynn lives, the coroner is warning residents of a continued spike in drug deaths, including six on April 24. One week before, the coroner announced that five people died in a span of 12 hours. In February, overdoses were so prevalent the coroner said she might need a temporary morgue to handle the deluge.

“Folks for the fourth Friday in a row we have had a surge of overdose deaths: 6 yesterday,” Dr. Anahi Ortiz posted on Facebook on April 25. “Please keep that narcan on hand, use fentanyl test strips and call 911 for an overdose. Families and friends check on your loved ones who use frequently, consider Thursday, Friday and Saturday to check in and talk.”

Montgomery County, Ohio—which is home to Dayton and was considered the country’s overdose capital in 2017—is reporting a 50 percent jump in overdoses over last year. Coroner Kent Harshbarger suggested to one local news outlet this increase could be closer to 100 percent: “March had around 42 which, our normal baseline is somewhere in the 20s usually. So 42 is a significant increase.”

Indeed, authorities in counties across Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York are also reporting rises in overdoses during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The people I’m giving it to don’t want to go to the health department,” he said.

Lynn said isolation and boredom can be a trigger. “The opposite of addiction is human connection, not sobriety,” she said. “Just being totally isolated—especially now that stimulus money came through for a bunch of people—it’s a huge temptation. I didn’t get my money yet, and I’m glad I didn’t.”

Traci Green, director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, told The Daily Beast that community programs should push to secure as much naloxone as possible and provide easy access to treatment in light of stimulus checks.

“Because people will have money and the market pays attention to these things,” Green said. “All markets pay attention to these things. The illicit market is no different.”

While some Americans struggle to find toilet paper and cleaning supplies during the pandemic, the country’s drug users are also facing a dwindling supply.