The year 2020 has been challenging on many fronts. Multiple national and global crises have affected us all, leading to ongoing fear and uncertainty. A major spike in 2020’s statistics on opioid abuse indicates that those suffering addictions have been particularly affected.
The Numbers: Opioid Addiction Statistics
Throughout 2020, the number of people both abusing opioids and dying of overdoses has only continued to rise. Although the precise numbers of those abusing can be difficult to pin down (given the secretive nature of drub abuse), the grim uptick in cases of people dying of opioid overdose is all too easy to track.
As of July, 2020, deaths from drug overdose in the USA rose by an estimated 13% in the first half of the year compared with 2019, according to data compiled from several local and state governments. In some states, drug-related deaths climbed by over 30%. (The Lancet)
At the same time drug abuse numbers are going up, addiction treatment centers are being hit by the effects of a serious economic recession. This dynamic puts people’s treatment options in jeopardy at a time when the need is absolute. As things stand, just one in five people with opioid use disorder are able to access treatment when they need it.
Should the numbers of those abusing continue to climb even as treatment options shrink, those odds that people will find help decrease exponentially. Fortunately, places like Serenity Oaks Center continue to provide compassionate care, even amid the challenges of 2020. From the pandemic to racial unrest to the election to Hurricane Hanna hitting Texas back in July, we’ve really been going through it.
And the year’s not yet over.
An Escalating Epidemic
The data indicate that throughout 2020, the opioid epidemic has only continued to escalate. It isn’t hard to point to factors that have made people more susceptible to opioid reliance through this difficult time.
The arrival of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has provided an unanticipated haven for the already formidable opioid epidemic. COVID-19—related protective shelter-in-place orders have pushed individuals battling sobriety into isolation and have decreased access to treatment and opportunity for distraction from addictions. (AJMC)
With the pandemic continuing with no end in sight and political gridlock surrounding the election only intensifying everything, it’s hard to imagine these numbers will drop on their own.
The best thing we can do is look around and see who needs our help within our own spheres of influence. Whether you have a friend, family member, or loved one battling addiction, or whether you’re in need of some help yourself, we at Serenity Oaks Center are here for you.
This isn’t just a national issue. It’s a local one as well.
According to statistics gathered by the City of San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District:
- Texas is among the top 5 states for the total number of opioid-related deaths
- Texas has the second-highest opioid abuse-related health care costs
- Over the last 10 years, Texas has ranked in the bottom 5 states nationally for mental health agency expenditures per capita
How did we get here?
Typically, no one starts out planning to become an addict. They might be suffering from lower back pain, be prescribed an opioid such as Hydrocodone or Oxycodone, and only later become dependent.
With opioid deaths on the rise in Bexar County with no signs of slowing down, there’s never been a better time to seek effective treatment.
We Can Help
If you, a friend, family member, or loved one is struggling, you don’t have to handle it on your own.
Contact Serenity Oaks Center for help or more information. Here, we offer personalized care to help people overcome addiction and get their lives back on track.