The opioid crisis was at its peak in 2017. Opioid abuse was rising throughout the country and thousands of people were losing their lives to an addiction they never saw coming. Three years later, our nation was turning a corner in the opioid epidemic and working to bring overdose rates down.
Then, a curveball no one could have expected stifled the progress made: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The virus has isolated millions of people from their support systems, paused many recovery programs and created an environment that encourages opioid addiction to flourish.
The Relationship Between COVID-19 and Opioids
In 2018, there were roughly 46,000 opioid overdose fatalities. While that number decreased in 2019, experts expect overdose rates to pick back up again due to the pandemic. While the media doesn’t provide real-time counts of opioid overdoses like it does for COVID-19 infections, we do know that opioid abuse is on the rise this year. In fact, over 30 states in the country have seen an increase in opioid overdose deaths since the pandemic started.
But what are the reasons behind this rapid increase?
Sudden Social Isolation
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown everyone into a new level of social isolation that has increased stress, depression and anxiety for millions of people. This drain on mental health has sadly increased the risk of opioid abuse.
Those who relied on their social network and getting out to exercise may now resort to prescription painkiller abuse instead to cope with loneliness and chronic pain. Meanwhile, others who are in recovery are now at a higher risk of relapse because they’re separated from their support system.
A Rise in Work-Related Stress
Job loss, career changes or even small adjustments in your day-to-day work schedule can lead to anxiety and stress. Whether you are now working from home or have suddenly lost your job, the pandemic is forcing us all to adapt. If you’re working from home, you might find yourself struggling to stay focused. You might fall behind in your work and feel overwhelmed. All of these feelings can trigger opioid use, especially for those trying to manage their recovery.
Plus, not all work-related stress is mental in nature. For example, if you work on a computer, your set up at home might not be as supportive as the one at the office. Sitting in an awkward position all day can lead to chronic pain and push you towards constant opioid use.
Financial Stress and Economic Uncertainty
Opioid addiction and the economy are actually connected, with studies showing that unemployment can lead to overdoses. The pandemic has put millions of people out of work and closed thousands of businesses, straining people’s financial security and increasing their stress. Unfortunately, this has set people up to use opioids as a way to distract from their financial struggles. With such an economic downturn, opioid addiction is continuing to run rampant throughout the country and needs to be addressed through quality opioid addiction treatment.
Break Free from Opioid Abuse at Fountain Hills Recovery
COVID-19 has all of us feeling more stressed, anxious and isolated. Fortunately, you can escape all of that and overcome your opioid addiction at Fountain Hills Recovery, is a premier opioid addiction treatment center in Arizona.
Our holistic, personalized approach to treatment allows us to get to know your unique challenges and rehabilitation needs. With an individualized approach and care from an experienced, compassionate team, you’ll be in a position to achieve lasting recovery from opioid addiction.
We know that COVID-19 has presented unique challenges to your life and recovery, but we can get through them together. Contact our admissions team today to get started.