Coronavirus and opioid crisis create ‘perfect storm’ in Columbus


Kirk Kureska, Vice President of Hospital Operations, New Vista Behavioral Healthcare. He has worked in crisis intervention, case management, team building, public speaking, and mental health.

From the grim milestone of 500,000 fatalities to 1000’s of hospitalizations to thousands and thousands of misplaced jobs, the toll of COVID-19 is incalculable.

But, one of many extra underreported repercussions from the pandemic is the alarming enhance in substance abuse and psychological well being instances in Columbus and throughout Ohio.

Emotional nervousness, job insecurity and melancholy have created an nearly good storm of ache for our households, pals, neighbors and communities. 

Final yr, the nation skilled a surge in overdoses and behavioral admissions partly due to the pandemic. Sadly, Franklin County has had one of many highest overdose and emergency hospitalization percentages within the state and at ranges not often seen in many years.

Compounding the issue is that  nationwide practically 60% of people that want therapy don’t have entry to it due to unemployment and lack of insurance coverage.

Though what we’re witnessing as well being care staff will not be new, it’s a disaster nonetheless pushed by the misuse of remedy, entry to habit medicine and a scarcity of entry to care.

As we confront one other wave whereas nonetheless dealing with a pandemic, our strained well being care system can maintain solely a lot.

Gov. Mike DeWine, left, has called for increased funding for mental health and addiction services, though Ohio ranks near the bottom of states in public health funding, according to a recent study.

I applaud Gov. Mike DeWine’s request for added funding to deal with this downside, but funding in the important thing areas of intervention, supervision and therapy have to be way more strong.

Extra:Capitol Insider: Is DeWine right that Ohio should get more in Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill?

 A current report from Trust for America’s Health highlights these issues, because it discovered Ohio ranked 44th among states for per capita spending on public health in 2017, and forty fifth in per capita funding transferred from the federal Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention in 2020.



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