ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)– 120 people die each day from drug overdoses. But since the start of the pandemic, drug use and overdosing continues to become more of an issue in minority populations.
When the pandemic sent most people into isolation at home, it also sent many others out into the streets.
“More people are dying from substance abuse in this country than are dying by handguns,” Patrick Bordnick, PHD said.
Deaths among white people rose by 24% but overdose deaths in the black population jumped by 90%. Hispanic deaths increased by 115% and deaths among American Indian Alaska natives jumped by 169% studies show.
“When someone is exposed to their drug of choice, their craving increases and the wanting of the drug increases as well as their body reacting in a certain way,” Bordnick said.
Addiction Policy Forum reports that individuals with a substance use disorder found it challenging to continue needed services during the pandemic, from recovery support meetings, treatments, and naloxone services to reverse an overdose. But even with access to help becoming more available, addicts are still having issues breaking their bad habits.
“We’re really asking someone to fundamentally change their lifestyle and who they are,” Bordnick said.
But that change may just save their life.
President Joe Biden has appointed Regina LaBelle, a veteran drug policy expert who served in the Obama administration, as deputy director of the office of national drug control policy or ONDCP.
Immediate efforts to curb overdose deaths will include a new focus on racial equity in drug policy and expanding access to medications used to treat opioid use disorder.