ADDRESSING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      

CONTACT:  Jennifer Johnson (410) 219-3947 (Office)

 (410) 251-5379 (Cell)

ADDRESSING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

(August 11, 2020, Salisbury, MD) As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the entire United States, it is important to remain vigilant in our efforts to address the opioid epidemic in our community. Unfortunately, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen increasing numbers of overdoses, not only in our community, but across the nation as a whole. In an article published by The Washington Post on July 1, 2020, it was reported that “nationwide, suspected drug overdoses rose 18% in March, 29% in April and 42% in May when compared to numbers from 2019 (Get Smart About Drugs, 2020).” This information has been provided by the nationwide overdose detecting application, ODMAP.

“Although we cannot be sure what has specifically contributed to the increase in overdoses, we know that lack of support systems, loss of jobs, added stressors, isolation and limited access to treatment has made recovery much more difficult, and has led to relapses,” states Lori Brewster, Wicomico County Health Officer. Although numbers are still preliminary at this time, it appears as though we have surpassed year to date overdoses, when compared to this time period from 2019.

It is now more important than ever to remember that there are resources available to assist those battling the disease of addiction, as well as their family members. Some of these resources are as follows:

  • Community Outreach Addictions Team (COAT)– 24/7 access to peers in recovery assisting with linkages to resources and treatment for those battling addiction- (443) 783-6875
  • Safe Station– Open 24/7 for individuals seeking treatment and recovery services, located at 726 S. Salisbury Blvd. Salisbury, MD 21804 or call (443) 783-6875
  • Wicomico County Health Department– Contact the Local Behavioral Health Authority for a list of treatment providers in Wicomico County (410) 543-6981
  • Maryland Coalition of Families– Dedicated to serving families with behavioral health needs, including mental health, substance use and gambling issues. Main office: (410) 730-8267 or Email:info@mdcoalition.org
  • Recovery Resource Center (RRC)- Offering meetings and support for those looking to start or continue their journey to recovery-located at 726 S. Salisbury Blvd. Salisbury, MD 21804

***Please note that there are many other resources available in the county, and this is just a brief list.***

Wicomico County Health Department is also offering contactless Naloxone trainings and delivery at this time. Naloxone, also sold under the brand name Narcan, is an opioid overdose reversal medication.

 If you or someone you love is currently struggling with an addiction, please contact (443) 783- 6875 or (410) 543-6981 to obtain this medication, or contact your local pharmacy. For more information about the opioid epidemic and local resources, connect with the health department at www.wicomicohealth.org or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram (WicomicoHealth) or Twitter (@WicomicoHealth).  

 

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