Opioid Overdose Deaths Spike In Maryland, Chicago, Likely Related To COVID Lockdowns

Opioid overdose deaths spiked in some areas of the United States as the nation faced the epidemic of the novel coronavirus, a devastating double whammy.

Health officials in Chicago are saying that Cook County saw opioid overdoses skyrocket when more people were isolated in their homes.

“The interaction between COVID-19, the fear of COVID-19, and substance use and addiction are pretty much the worst combination I have seen in my career without question,” said Dr. Thomas Britton, President and CEO Gateway Foundation, ABC7 reports.

From January to the end of April, EMS overdose calls increased 72 percent. Over that same time period, over 331 people lost their lives to addiction, which is a 35 percent increase from 2019.

“People are scared that if they go to a treatment center they are going to develop COVID [and] if they go to outpatient, they are going to develop COVID,” Britton said.

He continued, “So the uncertainty of what you are using has increased dramatically. It has more fentanyl – 90% of the overdose deaths have fentanyl in them.”

The state of Maryland saw a similar 3-month period spike with 561 overdose deaths, The Baltimore Sun reports. The number is a 2.6 percent increase from the previous year.

“While it is simply too early to understand the precise effect that the coronavirus pandemic has had on state’s war against substance use, I can assure you that we recognize the threat that it poses to our progress in the fight and to some of our most vulnerable populations,” said Gov. Larry Hogan in a statement.

In 2018, Sara A. Carter produced the film Not in Vein to showcase the opioid epidemic’ss effect on our nation. Watch the eye-opening documentary here:

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