The pandemic has ushered in a surge of binge drinking and dangerous drug use. In the first half of 2020, nearly 500 Minnesotans died from drug overdoses, according to preliminary data from the Minnesota Department of Health. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said overdoses nationally in the 12 months ending in May 2020 set a record.
Drug use and overdoses were trending upward before the pandemic, but the isolation, economic strain and life upheavals caused by COVID-19 seem to have accelerated what some are calling “deaths of despair.”
Angela Davis spoke to an addiction doctor and two young people in recovery about ways to reduce the harm of addiction.
If you’re looking for help for yourself or a loved one, the Minnesota School of Social Work has compiled a broad list of addiction resources: Support for Addiction Recovery during COVID-19.
Dr. Charles Reznikoff is an addiction doctor and internist with Hennepin Healthcare.
Kate Erickson is a youth educator with the nonprofit organization Change the Outcome.
Justin Goeman is a youth educator with the nonprofit organization Change the Outcome.
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