From the outset of the U.S. shutdowns in March, the Trends Journal had forecast that the lockdown “cure” for dealing with the coronavirus, imposed by politicians and their bureaucratic health “experts,” would cause more suffering than the virus itself.
States across the U.S. are reporting a troubling increase in drug fatalities amid the widespread coronavirus lockdowns, which have dramatically decreased human interactions. And, the overall uncertainty about the virus itself and its economic impact have been additional sources of stress, according to data analyzed by the Wall Street Journal.
The United States National Library of Medicine published a report in April warning that “reduced access to family, friends, and other social support systems causes loneliness increasing mental issues like anxiety and depression.”
Among the suffering caused by the economic shutdowns and social isolation is an increase in opioid abuse and other drug addictions. A CDC survey showed 13 percent of respondents said earlier this summer they started or increased substance use since the outbreak.
The Wall Street Journal pointed to Los Angeles County, which reported a 48 percent increase in drug overdoses when compared to 2019.
The Advocacy Resource Center reported, “As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, so does the nation’s opioid epidemic. The American Medical Association is greatly concerned by an increasing number of reports from national, state, and local media suggesting increases in opioid-related mortality.”
David Sternberg, a manager at the drug user support group Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), which is frequented by sex workers and IV drug users, said, “It’s a pretty stark reality here. We’ve lost a lot of patients.”
The WSJ said it requested information from 50 of the country’s largest counties and received information from 30 of them. It reported an upward trend in 21 of the counties which submitted data on overdose deaths. The increase appears to be spread throughout the country, and health officials indicated fentanyl methamphetamines are adding heavily to the increase.
In its coverage, they noted the largest county among them, Los Angeles, saw almost a 50 percent rise in overdose deaths in just the first month and half of the coronavirus shutdown compared to 2019.
Gary Tsai, interim Director of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control for the county’s public health department, said those struggling with drug abuse “are indoors, they’re stressed, maybe they lost a job or a family member.”
The Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, which tracks overdoses nationwide, reported an 18 percent increase in suspected overdoses following the stay-at-home edicts by governors that began in March.
“When COVID hit, nobody was allowed to touch anybody, nobody was allowed to see anybody. The worst thing for someone chaotically using drugs is to be isolated,” said Shannon Hicks, head of Exchange Union, a West Virginia harm-reduction group.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) states why drug abuse is increasing: more than 20 million people in the U.S. have a substance use disorder. Now, COVID-19 has left many locked down, laid off, and flooded with uncertainty. So far, experts see signs of relapses and rising overdoses, among other worries.
TREND FORECAST: Before the coronavirus lockdowns hit in March, the U.S. was already experiencing an opioid overdose problem. Last year, according to the CDC, drug overdose deaths in the United States rose 4.6 percent to 70,980, including some 50,000 involving opioids.
The acceleration of drug abuse will continue across the globe as the “Greatest Depression” worsens. As Gerald Celente has long said, “When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it.” They will be losing it on many fronts: emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
The acceleration of increased drug use and overdoses, which will impact society across the economic and social spectrum, will fuel the “New Age 2.0” movement, as millions seek a higher level of purpose of life.