As the COVID-19 pandemic collides with the Opioid Epidemic, many people are suffering from the impact. Anxiety, uncertainty, isolation, financial worries, changes at home are threats to people with a substance use disorder (SUD) or cause those at risk of developing one.
Researchers say it’s too early for definitive data on how the pandemic afflicts people with SUD but early indicators concern experts. A recent analysis of 500,000 urine drug tests by a national laboratory showed an increase of 32% for fentanyl, 20% for meth, and 10% for cocaine from mid-March through May 2020.  An analysis released by the White House reported overdose deaths were up by 11.4% from January to April of this year when compared with the same period in 2019.
The New York Times reports the Covid-19 pandemic could markedly affect our nation’s mental health and risk of substance use. Health care systems need to develop a strategy to meet the evolving needs of the SUD population amid Covid-19.