10. The COVID-19 Pandemic has worsened the opioid crisis.
More people are dying of overdoses and fewer are being admitted for treatment.
“COVID-19 has showed us the vulnerabilities and deficiencies in our addiction services—in addition, it has increased the mental health needs of this population.”The arrival of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has provided an unanticipated haven for the already formidable opioid epidemic. COVID-19–related protective shelter-in-place orders have pushed individuals battling sobriety into isolation and have decreased access to treatment and opportunity for distraction from addictions.The addiction community is raising alarms that the current epidemiological climate alone is a risk factor for substance abuse relapse, prompting the New York Times to label the coronavirus pandemic “a national relapse trigger.”2 In 2010, the CDC began to note that the average American life span was declining in correlation with an astounding increase in opioid-related deaths, causing the CDC to call for an “urgent” response. America holds the dubious distinction of being the lowest-ranked nation in life expectancy among developed nations due to the opioid epidemic, a statistic usually depreciated by factors such as civil war or lack of access to safe water or basic vaccinations.