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North Carolina Had A 40% Increase In Deadly Opioid Overdoses in 2020

New information from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows that the COVID pandemic raged alongside the opioid crisis, causing 3,304 deaths. The numbers would equal about nine overdose deaths in North Carolina every day, a 40% increase in opioid deaths.

Substance, Overdoses Use Skyrocketed Since Pandemic’s Beginning

By June of 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control, over 13% of Americans admitted to misusing substances or using them recreationally. Most cited stress as a reason for their substance use. Coping with financial losses, deaths or illness, and social isolation increased substance use across the US.

Some people who overdosed on opioids didn’t mean to take the drug they took. Since about 2019, fentanyl has been found in almost all street drugs. People had accidentally overdosed on fentanyl when they thought they were using a drug like molly or cocaine.

People who already had opioid use disorder struggled to get services, especially in the first few months of the pandemic. This led to increased relapses. Because of the realities of the pandemic, even the supply chain for getting opioids was spotty. This meant that some people got drugs with fentanyl in them unexpectedly. Many thought they were buying Oxycontin or other prescription pills like Percocet.

Increased Resources Due to New Policies, Opioid Settlements

North Carolina and the US government relaxed policies to reach people who were isolated and needed services. Medication-Assisted Treatment can currently be prescribed and followed up on via telehealth.  This allowed people to get assistance in rural parts of North Carolina and helped them access lifesaving drug treatment services for people with substance use disorder.

North Carolina is currently disbursing funds to help create more in-person drug treatment facilities, community services, and access to Medication-Assisted Treatment. North Carolina received over 750 million dollars over the next 18 years. Some of the monies are already being spent on projects contested in some communities. However, all the money will be spent in communities hit hard by the opioid epidemic.

Getting Help for Opioid Use Disorder in North Carolina

If you or somebody you love has a problem with addiction, we’re here to help. We offer compassionate, professional care and Medication-Assisted Treatment, if appropriate, to help you begin your journey in recovery. Get in touch to learn more or get started with telehealth. You can also give us a call at 910-295-7246.


If you are in need of help, please call us at: 910-295-7246 or message us.

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Addiction, pain, and mental health challenges interfere with the joys of living, but we can help.  Dr. Corrigan, and the whole team at Solas Health, will help.

If you are in need of help, please call us at: 910-295-7246 or message us.

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