Health: Pandemic Confinement has Worsened Opioid Abuse

The Story:

The Orange County Drug Free Office, in central Florida, is offering Narcan, the spray used for treatment of opioid overdose emergencies, and training in how to use it, to members of the general public. This offer is itself a symptom of how severe the opioid crisis has become in the area around Orlando.


Jaime Bridges, a clinical social worker in Orlando, told a local television station in a recent interview: “Anybody that’s willing to take on a responsibility and is willing to learn how to utilize the Narcan and feels like they can help in their community we can get the Narcan in your hands and we want to give it to you.” Bridges is a former police officer and is open about her own experiences with addiction.

The long pandemic, with the periods of isolation on the one hand and anxiety on the other, has led to a lot of self-medication, that is, increased use of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

In Pill Form:

“I would beg to differ [with any inference that] this fentanyl crisis would be doing well on its own … even without COVID,” Bridges said. But the latter crisis has worsened the former.

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