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COVID has drug overdose skyrocket in Washington state


Washington state health officials say preliminary data suggests drug overdoses in the state have caused more deaths in at least the past decade than in 2020

The spike reflects national trends. In December, the Centers for Disease Control reported more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths in the US in the 12 months ending in May 2020 – the highest ever overdose deaths in a 12-month period.

CDC director Robert Redfield said at the time, “The COVID-19 epidemic has caused disruptions in daily life.

The Seattle Times reported that according to data from the state’s Department of Health, the amount of lethal medicine in Washington state increased more than 30% last year compared to 2019. This increase was more than double in the past decade.

According to the data, fatal opioid overdoses – from prescription painkillers, fentanyl and other similar substances – increased by about 40%. This represents more than triple the rate of any other increase in the last decade.

The Washington Department of Health was still analyzing preliminary data and causes of death in specific cases, and health officials expect the number of overdose deaths to increase even more.

Department spokesman Kristen Maki said, “It is reasonable to believe the psychological, social and economic impacts of COVID-19.”

The Department of Health reported 1,649 drug overdose deaths in 2020, compared to 1,259 the previous year. During 2020, many more people went out of their way to help with the drug or alcohol problem.

According to data obtained from the program pointing to the Washington Recovery Help Line, the toll-free phone line for people seeking substance abuse or treatment increased by 90% in 2020 compared to 2019, primarily in the state Is funded by

Over the past year, disruption and trauma – job loss, isolation, illness, death – contributed to the increase, said Troy Siebert, opioid use disorder manager for the Recovery Help Line.

“Any time we see people in a state of despair, substance use is going to increase,” Seibert said.

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