Opioid Overdoses Increase In the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

Opioid Crisis

Karen Berger, PharmD, Medical Writer

COVID-19 is a pandemic that has brought a lot of devastation

to the world. People are losing jobs, living in isolation, and worried about how to pay the bills. Those who were receiving treatment for opioid addiction now may not be able to get the same level of care, if they can get any care at all. 

All over the country, we are seeing reports of an increased

number of opioid-related deaths. Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz warned,

“We are living

through extraordinary times…We are fighting battles no one would have expected, but still we push forward with hope and unrelenting resolve to succeed. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has made the opioid epidemic even worse for those fighting for

their sobriety.” The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) has updated outpatient treatment programs to utilize telehealth services when possible, and to give guidance on in-person interactions. Also, OASAS and the Department

of Health have started a methadone delivery program for patients with COVID-19. New York residents can find additional resources

here

New Jersey Attorney

General

Gurbir Grewal

announced a new administrative order that healthcare providers must prescribe Narcan (naloxone) to patients who take high doses of opioids, or who take opioids along with benzodiazepines (such as Xanax). These patients are at even higher risk for an overdose. 

Experts have said

that in the past few months, there have been increased calls to addiction helplines, and an increase in alcohol use, drug overdose, and relapse rates. Many overdose victims are reluctant to go to the hospital, because of COVID-19. “When movement is impeded

and people are confined, it creates depression and anxiety,” said Debra L. Wentz, president of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies. “To treat those uncomfortable feelings, people who have turned to drugs before — as well as people

who maybe have never turned to drugs — are more likely to use them.”

The American Medical

Association (AMA) issued a brief

stating their concern about opioid-related mortality, as at least 30 states have reported an increase in overdose. The AMA urges governors and state legislators to take action, by eliminating barriers to patients obtaining prescriptions and increasing access

to telemedicine services. You can read each state’s report here

If you are experiencing issues with substance abuse, help

is available. Throughout the pandemic you can reach out to your mental health professionals through

telehealth,

if you can’t get to the office. Or, call the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Helpline at 1800-662-HELP. They can provide referrals to local treatment centers, support groups, and community-based organizations. 

At

MyCureAll,

we are working to combat the opioid epidemic through the use of a Wapp that provides new and current users of medical cannabis an Eco-friendly -system.

What does that mean? A patient can take assessment for

depression (php-9), PTSD, Anxiety (GAD-7), and opioid dependence or abuse (RODS). Then a patient engages our interactive “canna-measure” which highlight efficacy of strain and builds a treatment plan and assisted with developing a claim for insurances. We

connect the patient with a Prescriber for a Medicinal Cannabis for certification. Then we connect the patient with a dispensary that has the patients preferred strain. Finally, we allow insurance companies to view patients positive results.

Medical cannabis is a safe and natural alternative to opioids,

helping with pain (and many other medical conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, and Crohn’s disease) without the risk of overdose that is inherent with addictive opioids. Check out our

CannaMeter,

which brings the ultimate medical cannabis experience, saving you time and money!

We believe medical cannabis should be covered by insurance.

Sign

our petition to get medical cannabis covered

by insurance. 

MyCureAll also offers a wide selection of CBD oils and

other CBD products. Check out our Shopify

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