Florida Opioid Deaths on the Rise During the Pandemic
Decades before the novel coronavirus pandemic arrived on American shores, another deadly epidemic was ravaging communities from coast to coast. Opioid misuse and addiction have been an ongoing public health crisis in the United States for years; doctors first started overprescribing these dangerously addictive drugs to their patients in the 1990s.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control estimate we lose nearly 130 lives per day to opioid overdoses. Between 1999 and 2018, nearly 450,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the U.S. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these deadly incidents. Unlike with COVID-19, there is no real-time national tracker to count of opioid overdose deaths. However, more than 40 states reported increases in opioid-related mortalities in 2020. Why is this happening, and what can we do to prevent these tragic losses of life?
Factors Contributing to Increased Opioid Use During the Pandemic
Unfortunately, many of the steps we’ve taken to prevent the spread of illness in our communities have also made it much more challenging for people to maintain their mental health. Staying in isolation and not being able to spend time with friends and family can create loneliness, chronic stress and depression.
Despite the high risks for addiction and accidental overdose associated with opioids, you may consider abusing these drugs in hopes of temporarily escaping from pandemic-related stress and alleviating the tedium of staying home.
During this uniquely overwhelming time, those in recovery from a substance use disorder may also be struggling with anxiety-inducing stressors that could cause a relapse, including:
- Excess unstructured time
- Cancelation of in-person therapy and group meetings
- A lack of access to your usual support network
- Worries about the future
- Inability to get much-needed medical care and mental health counseling
- Loss of income
- Fear of getting sick or infecting loved ones
- Inadequate access to personal protective equipment
- Inconsistent, frequently shifting health and safety guidelines
What Can We Do to Prevent Florida Opioid Deaths?
We should all be doing some soul-searching to identify strategies to halt the opioid epidemic and save countless lives. If you are struggling with substance use issues or the threat of relapse during the co-occurring opioid and coronavirus plagues, consider taking the following steps.
- Research teletherapy options if you’ve accepted that you’re facing a challenge you can’t solve alone, but prefer to remain homebound in observance of COVID-19 safety protocols.
- Instead of self-medicating, practice daily self-care with activities like exercise, healthy relaxation techniques and sticking with a consistent sleep schedule.
- Seek professional dual-diagnosis treatment if substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues like depression and anxiety are adversely affecting your life.
- Educate yourself on the issues associated with opioid misuse and ask your physician to recommend alternative, drug-free pain relief methods.
Opioid Abuse Treatment in Florida
If drug abuse is taking control of your life, you don’t have to feel hopeless. An evidence-based treatment program can put you on the road to recovery and prevent you from being part of the nationwide opioid death statistics. At Beach House, we want you to grow and thrive. That’s why we offer a full continuum of addiction care, including medically managed detoxification, behavioral counseling, dual-diagnosis treatment and long-term relapse avoidance strategies.
Our high standards of clinical excellence helped us earn a spot on Newsweek’s list of 2020’s top addiction rehab facilities nationwide. We have also attained multiple accreditations and maintain an industry-leading client-to-therapist ratio. To learn more about our compassionate culture, our beautiful, secluded resort-like campus, our full suite of amenities and our aggressive approach to protecting our clients and staff from illness, please contact our admissions counselors for a confidential consultation.