The opioid epidemic is getting worse, and the COVID-19 pandemic could be to blame.
For many folks who may be struggling, times of social isolation drive feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, and drug abusers use opioids to relieve this stress.
Sara Goldsby, the director of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, says they have seen about a 30% increase in EMS response to overdose in the last few months. They say these are numbers that are similar across the entire United States as well as in South Carolina. “We know that people’s routines have been altered," Goldsby says. “In fact, we see an elevated number of overdose incidents during the weekdays now, compared to we are used to seeing them over the weekends, so we know some things have shifted and changed with the social isolation and the circumstances.”