Overdose Death Rise During Coronavirus in Louisiana
For many people in the world 2020 has been a difficult year with COVID-19. Unfortunately, it has not only brought a global pandemic but additional effects on people. While social distancing and quarantine can have a small effect on some people, it could be detrimental to people suffering from substance addiction. For many reasons, addicts might find it difficult to be isolated, especially when they can’t receive the addiction help they need. East Baton Rouge has seen a massive rise in overdose death since the start of coronavirus.
In 2019, the city set a record of 127 drug overdose deaths and 2020 is on its way to surpass that number. Although an exact number for this year is not yet available, in 2018 Louisiana saw an increase of overdose deaths with 1,140 fatalities. Even through the pandemic and other difficult times, it is important to seek treatment or help, whether it is from a loved one or directly from a treatment center. For more information on addiction and treatment please call us at 504-384-7870 or visit our Addiction Treatment page.
Overdose Death Rise and Coronavirus in Louisiana
Before this year, many states in the U.S. have seen a decrease in drug-related deaths over the years, although in Louisiana the number has continuously increased. As mentioned before, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that 1,140 people died from a drug overdose in 2018, with 444 of them being opioid-related. After the pandemic started the number of overdose deaths has increased greatly. In East Baton Rouge the number has increased by 93 percent compared to last year. In 2019, the city reached a record-setting number of 127 overdose deaths.
Louisiana has struggled with various drug issues in the past. With its location near to the Gulf of Mexico, it has been used as an entry point for drug trafficking from Mexico, Colombia, and other places. Some areas also have tourism, gang violence, and gambling contributing to the drug issues in the state.
After COVID-19, more than 35 states have seen an increase in opioid-related deaths. These states have also shown concern to mental and substance use disorders, as some virus-related orders and quarantining continues. The American Medical Association (AMA) has provided information on deaths involving opioids during the pandemic and ways to combat the crisis.
Coronavirus and Its Impact on Louisiana
For most people, the pandemic has had an impact on them, one way or another. Some may have employment, housing, or other issues, while others have to figure out how to deal with their substance addiction. Those who were getting treated for addiction were affected by the change from in-person interaction to Telehealth. Drug overdose deaths have reached a high amount and continue to rise.
Effects on Individuals with Addiction
The ever-changing rules and orders surround COVID-19 have changed the way many people live their life. For an addict, these times can have a great effect on them and their addiction. While the number of overdose deaths rises, it has caused panic for many. People have had to adjust to a different form of treatment, which might not be as effective for some. Addicts who have had to remain at home may face temptation, depression, or other effects that can lead them back to their addictive substance. It has made it harder for people to seek out treatment or continue participating in aftercare treatments. People also fear the virus and not knowing what the future will hold.
Effects on the Area
East Baton Rouge has seen a spike in overdose deaths since the pandemic started. Last year the number of deaths was at 127 and now it has increased by 93 percent from the start of the year until June. Since the stay-at-home mandates, many companies have had to downsize or have employees work from home. This has caused issues with unemployment and income, along with a lack of purpose or normal routine. All around the country reports show the rise of opioid-related deaths.
Effects Preventing Treatment Seeking
During these times with coronavirus, people have found it hard to seek out the help they need. For some people, the weight of the pandemic and news surrounding it can cause fear and worry. Some addiction service providers have had to switch to telehealth instead of in-person visits. This can prevent people from seeking help since it is not the same as face-to-face interaction and they might feel alone. With the high unemployment rates, many people might lack the resources and monetary support to get treatment.
Possible Solutions to the Issue
With COVID-19 impacting the world, the opioid crisis has not slowed down and has actually been rising. The AMA has suggests that governors and states should have some flexibility with telemedicine so people can get their evaluations and prescriptions. It should be more accessible to receive medical assistance when needed, especially for severe addiction. The AMA also reports on the importance of evidence-based harm reduction services, which can include sterile needles, syringes, and naloxone. Although social distancing and other mandates continue, it can else be helpful if people check on their loved ones to provide support even if it is virtually.
Overcoming Overdose Death Rise Amid Coronavirus
Substance addiction does not have an easy fix and it is something the person who has it must deal with every day. Throughout the pandemic, many people have to struggle with various issues that have altered their life. The number of drug overdose deaths has risen in Louisiana and other places. Many people have to stay home for longer than they are used to which can result in depression, anxiety, and other issues. This has also lead many to turn to addictive substances, such as drugs and alcohol. It has also become slightly harder to seek out treatment with some service providers switching to telehealth options.
Although it might seem like the year will continue to be difficult, options exist for those who need help. People with addictions can still participate in treatment programs and receive prescriptions or support needed to continue their recovery. For those who have completed their programs, aftercare treatments such as support groups and therapy can be especially helpful right now. Many people may be dealing with similar issues, so remember you are not alone. For more information please call us at 504-384-7870 or visit our treatment pages to learn more.