Within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, well being professionals say we won’t neglect concerning the different epidemic that was already spiraling uncontrolled: the opioid disaster.
The Metropolis of Alexandria says overdoses are up considerably this yr. Virginia as an entire has seen a 66-percent enhance in overdoses this yr.
“It is a public well being disaster on prime of a public well being disaster,” mentioned Alexandria Opioid Response Coordinator Emily Bentley.
Docs clarify the stress of isolation, lack of work and lack of well being protection are partially accountable — however they’re discovering that one thing else is inflicting the spike in overdoses.
“There’s been a stress on the provision chain so a variety of these sufferers should entry medication from totally different sellers and use medication which might be possibly unfamiliar to them,” mentioned, Dr. Husam Alathari of Inova Complete Habit Therapy Providers.
The Metropolis of Alexandria is seeing this proper now.
The town’s opioid response coordinator says drug sellers are urgent their very own capsules, made to seem like prescription drugs however laced with the highly effective and sometimes lethal opioid fentanyl.
“They assume they’re buying like a Percocet or one thing of that nature,” Bentley mentioned. “They only haven’t any thought how sturdy the capsule they’re about to take is as a result of they’re unaware that it has fentanyl.”
Habit specialists are encouraging employers to know that working from house may not be the perfect surroundings for some folks, particularly those that wrestle with dependancy.
“I meet individuals who say, ‘I relapsed as a result of I am house and I am alone and I am not busy with my job or the socialization of the job surroundings,'” mentioned Andrea Lubeck of Inova Complete Habit Therapy Providers.
Habit therapy and restoration are additionally tougher now as a result of many group and in-person remedy periods can solely be held just about.
“Persons are having a really, very onerous time sustaining restoration on this type of remoted, digital state,” Bentley mentioned.
One silver lining is that whereas overdoses are up, Alexandria says the variety of overdose deaths is flat — which they attribute to cops carrying NARCAN, a doubtlessly life saving drug given to somebody experiencing an overdose.
Each Alexandria and Arlington will now ship NARCAN to residents’ house without cost by way of mail. Residents can hold it at house in the event that they reside with somebody combating dependancy.