The United States accumulates the sinister news. Thursday, May 12, the bar of one million deaths due to Covid-19 was crossed in the country. The day before, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) announced the record number of overdose deaths in 2021. According to this preliminary data, 107,000 Americans lost their lives for this reason, up 15% from compared to the previous year. That’s one death every five minutes.
These two health crises are not unrelated. That of opiates, which has been raging for twenty years in the United States, has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. And vice versa. “People addicted to drugs have been much more infected than others by Covidinsists Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) American. They have, in addition, very high prevalence rates of chronic, heart and lung diseases, and are therefore more likely to die of an infection. »
Added to these direct deaths from Covid-19 are the collateral, invisible victims, who found themselves consuming more opiates due to the anxiety-provoking context of the pandemic. From 2020, a 30% increase in overdose deaths has been recorded in the country compared to the previous year.
If this period was synonymous with stress, anxiety, depression and isolation for the entire population, these evils were experienced even more difficultly by drug addicts. “Stress encourages taking medication and makes people very vulnerable to relapses”says M.me Volkow.
Americans between the ages of 14 and 18 have been particularly affected. Their suffering related to depression, anxiety and loneliness “increased by 30%” between 2019 and 2021, according to the director of NIDA. Consequence: for the first time, the number of teenagers who died by overdose has doubled during this period, according to a study by researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles and published on April 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Mixtures of synthetic opiates and antidepressants
This increase is also observed among the Amerindian, Afro-American and Hispanic populations. According to a report published on April 25, 2022 by the think tank Bipartisan Policy Center, “Black and Native American drug overdose death rates [ont] increased by 81%, and Hispanic death rates by 65% between 2019 and 2021; in comparison, for whites, death rates increased by 40%. These populations have been the most affected by the economic fallout of the Covid crisis.
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