Intervention Solutions During a PandemicJuly 23, 2020
Amid a deadly global health crisis, we continue to contend with an addiction epidemic in the United States. In more than two decades, U.S. public health officials haven’t made remarkable headway in ending the scourge of opioid use; the same is true for other drugs like methamphetamine. Now, matters are worsened by contending with two deadly epidemics in America; an intervention is necessary.
Before moving forward, we do not want to discount the tireless work of countless addiction experts, scientists, and several lawmakers. Effective treatment methods and medication have helped to stem the rip current of addiction from coast-to-coast. A handful of dedicated lawmakers have tirelessly devoted their time to drafting legislation placing restrictions on prescription opioids, while increasing access to treatment and the life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone.
In 2018, the nation was treated to uplifting news giving way to the belief that the curve of overdose deaths was on the decline for the first time in 25 years, The New York Times reports. While the numbers fell some percentage points from years past, the trend wouldn’t hold up in 2019.
What’s more, the trend will almost certainly continue in the shadow of COVID-19. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), cautions that opioid overdoses may have increased 30 to 40 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. If such numbers are even close to accurate, then it’s apparent that more Americans than ever may require intervention and addiction treatment.
COVID-19 and Overdose
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that drug overdoses increased to record high levels in 2019; the organization found a five percent increase from 2018. Experts predict that some 72,000 Americans died of an overdose last year. If NIDA’s projection holds, then 2020 could be the deadliest year yet.
The COVID-19 pandemic has millions of Americans living in a state of fear and uncertainty. Massive unemployment and concerns about contracting the virus are the impetus for despair. Millions turn to alcohol and drugs to cope, and the consequences can be disastrous without an intervention.
“We understand that there is an extraordinary amount of work to do, especially now as we are also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic that could markedly affect our nation’s mental health and risk of substance use,” said Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health.
Isolation is a catalyst for self-defeating and self-destructive behaviors. Loneliness is detrimental to those with a predisposition to engage in unhealthy behaviors. What’s more, if an overdose happens in quarantine, there may not be someone around to administer the life-saving reversal drug naloxone.
“Social isolation has always been a huge component of drug overdose risk,” said Traci Green, an epidemiologist at Brown University who studies addiction. “So much of what we’ve been trying to do has been completely unraveled.”
The New York Times reports that drug overdoses have increased an average of 13 percent so far this year. It’s vital that men and women struggling with drugs and alcohol reach out for help.
Such people’s families can also play an instrumental role in helping a loved one take steps toward recovery. Seeking an intervention specialist’s assistance can significantly improve the chances that your loved one will choose to begin a healing journey.
Certified Intervention Professionals
During these trying times, we invite you to contact Whitman Recovery Service to help your loved one begin a remarkable addiction recovery journey. With decades of experience and an unparalleled success rate, you can count on our team to guide you through the intervention process.