A recent report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrates that while America has been dealing with rising rates of addiction and mental health for a while, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the drug overdose epidemic in America.


The CDC report highlights rising rates of overdoses and fatal overdoses in the 12-month period ending in May 2020. Over those 12 months (the latest available data), over 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in America, which is the highest total of drug overdose fatalities ever recorded in a 12-month period.


Unsurprising for anyone that has followed America’s addiction epidemic or tracked the rising rates of overdoses and fatal overdoses throughout the country, the number one culprit substance identified in the CDC report was fentanyl. While many overdoses did occur due to legal prescription narcotic painkillers and/or heroin, the majority of fatal overdoses in the 12-month period ending in May 2020 were due to the illicit manufacturer opioid fentanyl. However, there was other alarming information released in the report, demonstrating that the rising rates of overdoses and fatal overdoses were not just due to rising rates of fentanyl use, misuse, or abuse. The CDC report also detailed that overdose deaths involving cocaine increased by 26.5% in the same 12-month period ending in May 2020. Additionally, overdose deaths involving psychostimulants such as methamphetamine increased by 34.8% over the same time frame.


Experts agree that while the overdose numbers have steadily been rising throughout America before COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on Americans and its disruption of normal life and social connections has certainly been a cause of the rising rates of overdoses and overdose fatalities, as well as rising rates of substance use disorder and mental health issues overall. While this recent CDC report tracked the rising rates of overdoses, numerous reports and studies released since March 2020 have shown rising rates of mental health concerns like anxiety and depression, rising rates of suicides and thoughts of suicide, and rising rates of addiction and substance misuse. Isolation, increased stress, economic concerns and economic insecurity, rising rates of unemployment, virtual learning, social distancing, and many other impacts of COVID-19 are direct correlations into the rising rates of overdoses, addiction, and mental health crises throughout the country.


These issues, which are not going anywhere anytime soon, bring an increased emphasis on the need for more behavioral health resources and help for those in need during the pandemic. The need for treatment and support of all kinds is needed now more than ever. Addiction treatment, mental health therapy, detox, community-based recovery support, psychiatry, and many other forms of treatment and support are needed for those suffering from behavioral health concerns now and will only continue into the future. People that are suffering need to know it is okay to reach out and that resources will be available when they do. Even those individuals who may never have had a mental health or substance use disorder issue in their past may experience one (or more than one) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is entirely uncommon throughout communities within America since the pandemic began just under a year ago. The rising numbers demonstrate that we all need to know that help is available, and if you need detox, treatment, or support, it is or will be there when you need it.


If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at info@innovodetox.com. For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at www.innovodetox.com.