The COVID-19 pandemic has put the opioid crisis on the back burner of news cycles—and it's made the crisis harder to fight, National Geographic reports.
2 million+ Americans use opioids weekly. As facility closures complicate access to addiction treatment, border closures are restricting the flow of illicit substances. Paradoxically that ups the risk of overdose as users turn to unknown substances. The reduced supply can also force people with dependencies into withdrawal, which can trigger deadly seizures.
If any good can come from these synergizing crises, it would be to shine a “clear, bright light” on the social determinants of health that dictate the trajectory of this pandemic—and future ones, writes Peter Grinspoon, a physician who has recovered from opiate addiction, in the Harvard Health Blog.