New Jersey on track to hit a record high in overdose deaths in 2020
Karen Berger, PharmD, Medical Writer
NJ Spotlight News reports that overdose deaths in New Jersey are up 17 percent due to COVID-19. This was predicted back in June, as we discussed on this blog. From January to the end of June, almost 1,600 NJ residents died from an overdose. The NJ Spotlight analysis of statistics predicts a “record number of fatalities related to alcohol, opioids, and other drugs,” by the end of 2020. Experts attribute increased drug use to the economy’s decline, unemployment, and the disruption to society created by COVID-19 and simultaneously, addiction centers needed to scale back. Both the Department of Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are providing funds to help cover COVID-19-related costs, reduce overdose deaths, and distribute free naloxone.
New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Response and Enforcement Strategies (NJ CARES) reports that:
- People with substance use disorder have a higher risk of getting COVID-19 as well as complications from COVID. Smoking or vaping, or large quantities of opioids, methamphetamine, and alcohol can affect breathing.
- People with substance use issues that contract COVID-19 are at a higher risk of overdose.
- CPR or naloxone may not be as effective in this population due to respiratory complications.
- Public health measures like social distancing and quarantine may interrupt access to naloxone, syringes, medications, and other treatment and support needed by patients with substance use disorder.
The opioid epidemic is one of the sentinel epidemics in recent history. It has affected millions of individuals in the United States, matching in scope some of the worst epidemics of the past century.
States with medical cannabis laws showed an annual decrease in death from opioid overdoses by 25% versus the states without medical cannabis laws.
MyCureAll app provides a platform for targeted cannabis recommendations for cannabinoids that treat specific conditions and lower healthcare costs. Our mission and values are to help people and society learn an alternative or supplementary Medication Assistance Treatment (MAT) with medicinal cannabis. And in this case we are here to fight the opioid epidemic with the help of cannabis. As experts in the pharmaceutical and medical cannabis field, our mission is to properly, consistently, and effectively manage medical cannabis administration by aligning patients, doctors, dispensaries, and insurers to work hand-in-hand for safer and more effective healthcare. In providing a secure and beneficial platform for medical cannabis prescribing, our goal is to bring physical and financial relief from the opioid epidemic
The team at MyCureAll encourages you to seek help if you need it. If you are feeling stressed out and lonely, you are not alone. If you need help, visit the NJCARES resource page to find help in your area. There are various resources, including telephone and online support.
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- Overdose deaths in NJ may hit record high. NJ Spotlight News. Available at https://www.njspotlight.com/2020/09/nj-overdose-deaths-record-high-possible-covid-isolation-stresses/ Accessed September 18, 2020.
- NJ Cares COVID-19 Resources. State of NJ Department of Law & Public Safety, Office of the Attorney General. Available at https://www.njcares.gov/ohh/ Accessed September 18, 2020.