Pandemic stress can overwhelm people, especially young adults, and lead them to abuse drugs that may be contaminated with synthetic opioids.
The COVID pandemic continues to exact an enormous physical, economic, and emotional toll on people across America. The emergence of yet another variant before the holidays has led to a lot of uncertainty. It has also exacerbated another crisis — the opioid crisis.
For many the holiday season and New Year’s is a time for celebration, but for some it can be period of stress and anxiety. The COVID pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in “deaths of despair” from suicide, overdoses and alcoholism. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated over 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses 12-month period ending in November, a 30 percent increase from the year before, and the highest number on record. The majority of those preventable deaths involved a synthetic opioid, especially fentanyl — disproportionately impacting our youth.