The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is projected to be the largest mass casualty event in the United States. Before the coronavirus, attention was on the opioid epidemic that was killing 130 people per day. Now, opioid use disorder (OUD) is at risk of being marginalized by the larger disease.
Quarantining and social distancing have been effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19, but the resulting isolation can be devastating to those with an opioid use disorder. As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, so does the nation’s drug epidemic. Today, more than 35 states have reported an increase in opioid-related deaths.
Those recovering from and struggling with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) face daily challenges. With the unusual circumstances brought about by a global pandemic, these challenges are compounded by the isolation mandated by stay-at-home policies.
If you’ve had surgery or experienced chronic or severe pain, you may have been prescribed opioids.
“I tried to talk to my piano. I tried to talk to my guitar. I talked to my imagination, confided in alcohol.” These are the opening words from the song “Anyone,” the latest release from Demi Lovato.
Doctors face a difficult task preventing, assessing, and treating chronic pain. According to the CDC, an estimated 20% of patients that go to a physician’s office with non-cancer pain symptoms or pain-related diagnoses (including acute and chronic pain) receive an opioid prescription.
Today, doctors mostly define pain by where it is: the abdomen, the lower back, the joints. Then they offer up treatments, usually anti-inflammatories or opioids, that too often do nothing to the cells and molecules causing a person to hurt.
Our company believes that in order to make a difference in the opioid epidemic, we must not only treat those who are currently diagnosed with opiate use disorder but also stop opiate addiction before it starts.
Last year Tyler Skaggs, 27, tragically died of a Fentanyl, Oxycontin, and alcohol overdose. Tyler underwent Tommy John surgery five years earlier, and during the 2017 and 2018, baseball seasons spent more than 180 days on the disabled list.