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Jan 1 8:00am

Opioid crisis worsens during COVID-19 pandemic

By Jennifer O'Hara, @jenohara


Stress, isolation and limited access to resources are fueling rising rates of substance abuse and overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic. While coronavirus has been the focus of so much attention this year, the opioid crisis has continued unabated and has even worsened. More than 40 states have reported increases in opioid related deaths, according to the American Medical Association.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Tyler Oesterle, a psychiatrist and addiction expert at Mayo Clinic, discusses opioid use disorders and treatment options, including virtual medicine available during the pandemic.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Connect with others talking about the pandemic and supporting one another in the COVID-19 and Chronic Pain support groups.

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.



Liked by Sundance(RB)

I understand the issues with substance abuse! But just like alcohol and drug abuse is throught the world and in our DNA! But I feel things have changed over the last several years! I have used Opiods for over 10 years. I had one 30 day percription that was for Burcities In my right hip between my 90 day steroid shots once a year. Two and a half years ago i came down with Severe headaches which we have figured out is either caused by Lyne Disease or Fibromyalgia. along with other Chronic Pain! Quite by accident I found two Oxycones a day took 90% of the headaches and other pain away! The use was totally approved by my PCP, who could not find anything else that would help me!
I cannot tell anyone about the Oxycodones because I get the Opiod Abuse Lecture!
As many of you reading this post who have Chronic Pain know what a Live Saver the medication can provide! I HAVE TAKEN 2 A DAY FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS AND HAVE NOT INCREASED THE DOSAGE!
I don't know about other states, but in my state, New Mexico, the use of Oxycodone is STRICTLY REGULATED! 1. Doctors control your percriptions very closely! I have to do a urine test every 6 months to check for other drug useage! 2. I cannot fill my percription prior to Three days before it is due!
I know there are ways around these rules and there are doctors around the country who abuse the privilage of perscribeing them!
But so many of us who have CHRONIC PAIN could not live everyday without them.
There is so much Media Hype about doctors and others who again abuse the Privildge! It makes it so you don't want to bring the subject up in conversation! Many of the abuses occur in homless populations! It is lumped in with us who despartly need them to live day by day!


I understand what you're saying, I feel the same way. I don't know how I would handle my chronic pain without medication. I hope one day to see other treatments covered by insurance that can help me, like massage, accupuncture, and more research grants on ways to treat pain would be wonderful too!
I don't know all the statistics behind the opiod crisis this year: who is dying, are they under a doctor's care or are they using street drugs; from what I've read, in 2019 illegal fentanyl caused a large number of deaths because their heroin was laced with it, it wasn't chronic patients dying. A couple years ago, I went to my former pain management doctor, who gave me epidural injections for my back (I got 3 from her, which did nothing for my pain) and she would give me a short lecture on the 90 deaths a day caused by overdoses. She insisted I should reduce the amount of my prescriptions; which I did, but I left her care for another doctor who cares about my health, and treats me with respect. Come to find out it was drugs from China being sold on the street causing most of it.
I think many people are suffering, and maybe don't want to continue living when their pain isn't being managed properly. Is the crack down on opiates to all patients unless terminal or cancer-related, causing what they are trying to prevent, more deaths? Or is it from stress related to the pandemic, the depression and isolation that's happened? I don't know. The boomers are not a generation that suffers without complaining like their parents might have. We need to speak out for our health.

Liked by Sundance(RB)


You're preaching to the choir on this one! Doctors who usually talk about the Opid Epidemic are usually fairly young! They get that BS to tell people from the medical "supireiors"! They have not had years of experience that the older doctors who have treated people who are made misserable because of pain!
Fentanyl is another one that is Misrepresented! My wife had a strange infection three years ago. I took her to the ER. Her pain got worse and worse. They tried morphine first that didn't touch the pain! This was at the time the word about Fentanyl had just hit the news!
The doctor came in and told me he was going to give her a shot of the Fentanyl! He saw the concern on my face! He told me the story about how it is used and how safe it is used by a doctor! (My wife was a person that the strongest drug she would use was Ibephrophen)!
I don't know if it is the internet or what, but people believe what they hear not what they see or experience!
I'm lucky to have an "Old Time" Geratric doctor who understands their pateints!
As I said we are watched so closely in my state it is incredable! When I felt better a while back I still traveled a lot. Would be gone on business for a week or ten days I would have to get the ok from my doctor and I was only given enough to last me until I got back to refill my regular percription!
Sent with Blessing from The Land of Enchantment!

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