Is the Opioid Crisis Gaining Momentum Because of the Pandemic?
My Recovery Day is a Cleveland Ohio based nonprofit that provides post treatment support resources to individuals in addiction recovery. By the very nature of what we do, we look at statistics concerning addiction. Sadly, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner reported 66 deaths from heroin, fentanyl and cocaine for the month of May 2020. This number is one short of the record 67 recorded in February 2017 and may be exceeded once more tests are confirmed. Cleveland and Cuyahoga County are not unique. Other cities and counties like Chicago and Cook County has experienced a doubling in its opioid related deaths, too (ProPublica).
It is a well-known fact the pandemic has increased isolation, anxiety and financial stress. For those in active addiction and in addiction recovery, these stressors can result in fatal overdoses and in relapses. Yes, the pandemic is a crisis but the opioid crisis never went away. It was just doing push-ups in the parking lot to come back even stronger. We need to make sure we do not lose sight of this battle.