Study: Opioid Overdoses 29% Higher in 2020 than Before Pandemic

Research over the past year has shown – the opioid epidemic did not go anywhere in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather, it grew in strength and is taking advantage of a society now more susceptible than ever. In a large cross-sectional study published in JAMA Psychiatry on Feb. 3 that analyzed nearly 190 million emergency department (ED) visits, researchers found significantly higher rates of visits to EDs for opioid overdoses during the months of March to October 2020 when compared against the same dates in 2019. The study found that, from mid-April onward, the weekly rates of ED visits for drug overdoses increased by up to 45% when compared against the same period in 2019.

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