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Opioid epidemics worsen during a pandemic




LIMA — The coronavirus pandemic has distracted from another deadly epidemic. A resurgence of deaths from overdose that killed at least 96,779 people between March 2020 and March 2021. Preliminary data Released Wednesday with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for prevention.

This trend overturns the long-standing progress achieved by communities like Lima through a combination of medication-assisted treatments, inpatient services, and outpatient recovery programs. Pregnant and postpartum women I am suffering from substance use disorder.

The sudden onset of the pandemic made healthcare providers dependent on telemedicine, making it difficult for patients to access treatment for substance use disorders.

“They don’t have a computer or phone to access it,” said Dr. Robert Zukas, a family doctor at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center.

People suffering from substance use disorders are no longer well-served and are now under more stress due to the long-term isolation, family and financial challenges caused by the pandemic, Zukas said. Said.

Result: Many people dealt with it by using it more often.

Zukas attended a press conference with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on Wednesday to discuss the effects of the pandemic prior to the opioid epidemic. Healthy state alliance A meeting on Saturday to train hundreds of medical professionals on addiction medicine best practices.

According to CDC data, more than 5,400 overdose deaths were seen between March 2020 and March 2021 in Ohio alone, with a 26% increase in fatal overdose during the first 12 months of the pandemic. Did.

Allen County According to data from the Ohio Department of Health in August, an estimated 31 deaths from overdose were recorded in 2020, compared to 12 in the previous year.

More family doctors, like Zukas, are seeking an exemption from prescribing buprenorphine, which can treat opioid use disorders and acute and chronic pain, rather than referencing patients to addiction specialists.

Doctors are currently regularly discussing the risks associated with highly addictive drugs with patients before prescribing opiates to relieve pain.

“They begin to realize that they may make them believe that there is a problem with the drug,” Zukas said. Use it for other things. “

Mercy Health-St. Dr. Robert Zukas Rita’s Medical Center will talk about addiction medicine at a press conference with Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on Wednesday.

Bon Secours Mercy Health, OSU Wexner Planning Conference on Poisoning Treatment




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