Government officials are reporting a huge uptick in overdose deaths due to the isolation and despair caused by the prolonged COVID-19 societal lockdown.
An official with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office says that the problem is worse than he has ever seen, with far more people turning to drugs throughout the pandemic.
“I think it’s an issue and it’s something that we are pulling out the stops and utilizing our people and our resources to try to combat,” Maj. John Budensiek said.
Maj. Budensiek’s office is trying to choke off of the supply so desperate individuals do not have the option to destroy their lives with dope during the pandemic, but it is an uphill battle.
“We know we’re in the middle of a pandemic. People are depressed, people are probably turning to drug and alcohol abuse and use more than they would before,” he said.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office reports that the county has seen 138 overdoses and 28 drug overdose deaths this year so far. At this point in 2019, there were 90 drug overdoses and 14 drug overdose deaths. This is a 65 percent increase in overdoses and a 100 percent increase in overdose deaths year over year.
It is not just in Florida where overdoses are spiking. The American Medical Association released an issue brief earlier this month reporting that 35 states are reporting an increase in opioid-related deaths during a time in which usage rates were already near record highs.
“The AMA is greatly concerned by an increasing number of reports from national, state and local media suggesting increases in opioid-related mortality—particularly from illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. More than 35 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder in counties and other areas within the state,” they wrote in their brief urging state and federal officials to take action to curb this alarming trend.
Caroline Franklin, a clinical therapist at Retreat Behavioral Health in Lake Worth Beach, believes that the anxiety caused by the pandemic mixed with the additional free time is a combination that has many Americans turning to drugs in order to cope.
“I think a lot of this especially right now we are seeing is coming from COVID-19,” Franklin said. “I think the anxiety is increasing which then sometimes turns people towards drugs.”
“A huge portion of people are socially isolated. Whether they were working before or not, an increased amount of depression and anxiety is being seen right now,” she added. “Everyone being home and not having as much interaction with people that they consider their support people, people they care about, can be really detrimental.”
When President Donald Trump said that the cure must not be worse than the disease, this is exactly what he was talking about. The death total caused by the shutdown could be larger than the COVID-19 death total by the time this is all over.
As Trump Leaves Office, Media Cites Ineffectiveness of Lockdowns and Democratic Leaders Display Eagerness to Reopen
Right on cue.
With President Donald Trump’s impending exit from the White House, many are starting to perceive pivots from Democratic leaders and the mainstream media on the ineffectiveness of lockdowns and the reopening of society.
For example, Newsweek ran an article Thursday titled “COVID Lockdowns May Have No Clear Benefit vs Other Voluntary Measures, International Study Shows.” The study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, found through a mathematical model that there was “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on [COVID-19] case growth in any country.”
This is just one study, of course, so it may not reflect objective reality any more than one study which concludes that lockdowns saved “millions of lives.” But after getting bombarded with messages from the media that lockdowns were necessary—with the opposite message found only on explicitly conservative outlets like Big League Politics—it may seem too coincidental to see such a story while the changing of the presidential guard takes place.
Not only that, it also comes at a time when some Democratic leaders appear to be chomping at the bit to reopen restaurants, bars, and schools—after several months of harsh insistence that they all must stay closed in the name of “safety” and “public health.”
On Monday, for example, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York called for the reopening of the state’s economy “smartly and safely.”
“We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high. We will have nothing left to open. We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely,” Cuomo tweeted.
We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high. We will have nothing left to open. We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely.#SOTS2021
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 11, 2021
Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot put out a similar call on Thursday, saying that bars and restaurants need to reopen “as quickly as possible” because it will help those businesses survive and reduce the number of large private parties and gatherings.
And incoming president Joe Biden recently pitched a $175 billion plan to return children to school, $130 billion of which would be for public elementary, middle, and high schools, the other $35 billion for colleges and universities. Many teachers unions stubbornly refused to return to in-person classes for the longest time, but now that Biden has come out in support of in-person classes, don’t be surprised to see them suddenly change their tune.
The left is so predictable, isn’t it?
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