Ease of Covid lockdown restrictions may help diminish drug addiction, National Institute on Drug Abuse director says – CNBC

The variety of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. hit a grim record, as the nation at the same time battled the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 93,331 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2020, which represents almost a 30% boost from the year before, according to initial data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told CNBCs “The News with Shepard Smith” that shes enthusiastic that the spike in drug overdoses will not be lasting. ” One of the reasons why Im positive … is that one of the aspects that added to that increase in substance abuse was the seclusion, social distancing, which does not enable you to provide Narcan, which reverses overdoses,” said Volkow. “That anguish that people felt, hopefully, will start to be alleviated.” Volkow added that individuals will now have the ability to reconstruct social support group that existed before the Covid pandemic and that healthcare systems will be able to refocus on offering treatment for opioid abuse disorder. The U.S. also recorded the most deaths from opioid overdoses in 2020, and more than 60% of those deaths included fentanyl. Host Shepard Smith asked Volkow why fentanyl played such a massive role in the drug overdoses. Volkow discussed that it related to potency and prices. ” Fentanyl is a very powerful drug, and its actually 50 times more potent than heroin, and so you require smaller sized volumes to produce the same result,” Volkow stated. “So it actually provides a big earnings for the illegal drug market, and its been used to really contaminate other drugs, and so when you mix fentanyl with drugs like methamphetamine or drug, you make them so much more lethal.”

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