The Opioid Epidemic
Currently, the opioid epidemic is one of the worst crises facing America today. There are more than twenty million people in the United States with a substance abuse disorder. The coronavirus pandemic has only worsened these circumstances, as many have been left in the lock down, laid off, or overcome with uncertainty and fear with the future holds.
Experts around the country have seen the warning signs of relapses, rising overdose numbers, and a variety of other reasons to worry about the current opioid epidemic. There are many factors which can lead to opioid users to start using again or start using in the first place. Anxiety, grief, isolation, financial worries, and changes in work and home life can all directly to the sense of hopelessness. When these feelings become to unbearable, individuals fall back on their drug habits to relax and take their minds off of their circumstances. However, opioids are easily abused, and now more than ever, patients are skipping the emergency room and going straight to the morgue.
Current Pandemic’s Effect on the Epidemic
Many individuals who are suffering from this addiction do whatever they can to stay clean, but their hopes and resources are dwindling with each passing day of the pandemic. Sometimes, one of the most dangerous factors for a drug addict is simply the passage of time. The pandemic is having more than an indirect effect on drug users, too. Some experts have estimated that overdose cases have risen an incredible ten-fold. Many centers for addiction and emergency treatment are up to sixty cases a month, a drastic rise since before the pandemic started.
Experts assume this number has risen so sharply because of the time between uses, or the potency increases in drugs since the lockdowns were first initiated. Those who have gone without their “fix” for a few months underestimate what dosage they can handle, and how strong the drug is to begin with. The situation is indeed dire, but it’s not hopeless. There are have been a number of studies on the use of CBD to curb drug addiction, and the initial results are promising.