Los Angeles, CA – The stress and isolation of COVID-19 lockdowns and the availability of cheap but deadly fentanyl were a deadly combination in 2020. Experts say the two factors contributed to a shocking 30% increase in drug overdose deaths.
In the face of this startling news, Muse Treatment Center is reaching out to those who need help ending their dependence on drugs or to find support for a loved one struggling with this problem. Treatment is available at their Los Angeles facilities and throughout Southern California. Muse has been able to help thousands of addicts recover from substance abuse disorders, pulling them back from a self-destructive path that has ended in tragedy for so many others.
According to preliminary statistics released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths hit an all-time high of 93,000. About 75 percent of the deaths were from opioids, especially fentanyl.
More than 500,000 people – about 25,000 a year – have died of opioid overdoses since 1999, a figure dwarfed by the 93,000 deaths reported for 2020. The year 2020 set several records for all drug overdoses and for overdose deaths from opioids, especially from fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.
Fentanyl is cheap and easy to manufacture and transport and has become a popular substitute for heroin. It’s part of an addiction cycle that begins when someone is prescribed a legal opioid for pain but becomes dependent on it. When they can no longer get their prescription refilled, they often turn to street drugs like heroin or fentanyl.
The availability of fentanyl came at the same time as COVID was creating circumstances that often lead to addiction or make recovery more difficult.
Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, public health officials called for people to use social distancing to minimize contagion. Many addicts were isolated from friends and loved ones who might have offered support. Many who lost their jobs were coping with unprecedented levels of stress and turned to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate.
As bad as the drug overdose numbers are, they could have been even worse. More people have received help because some laws were temporarily relaxed to make treatment easier to access. Methadone patients were allowed to take their doses at home instead of at a clinic, and telemedicine visits have been allowed instead of requiring in-person counseling. Federal funds can be used to buy needles and syringes for exchange programs, and to purchase rapid fentanyl test strips, which can be used to check whether drugs contain fentanyl.
Muse Treatment offers comprehensive therapy for substance use disorders involving drugs, including heroin, fentanyl and other opioids. Treatment includes medically supervised detox, residential and outpatient rehab, sober living homes and extensive follow-up and alumni programs to prevent relapse. Muse often treats substance use disorders in tandem with depression and other underlying emotional and psychological disorders. Rehab includes counseling in life skills designed to instill healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with the circumstances that may contribute to addiction. For help or more information, call 800-426-1818 or visit www.musetreatment.com.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]