States Scramble To Deal With The Compounding Covid And Opioid Epidemic

States are rushing to amend their laws surrounding opioid use disorder treatment as Covid threatens to exacerbate the opioid epidemic.

Preliminary data released last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection showed a record number of Americans – almost 72,000 – died from a drug overdose last year, a majority of which were opioid related.

And since the coronavirus pandemic began, experts have feared that the opioid crisis would get worse.

“The coronavirus pandemic is, unfortunately, expected to worsen the opioid overdose crisis,”  Barbara Andraka-Christou, an assistant professor of health management and informatics at the University of Central Florida, told NPR.

“Many individuals are experiencing triggers, such as family- or job-related stress, that may lead them to relapse,” she said. “Many people are losing their jobs and the funds necessary to pay for lifesaving health care. Those of us working in public health research are very worried.”