Overdose Cardiac Arrests More than Doubled during Lockdowns

Yesterday the Journal of the American Medical Association released a peer-reviewed article on the impact of the pandemic on the US overdose crisis. Data was collected from the near real-time Emergency Medical System (EMS) and the authors noted “a large-magnitude, national surge in overdose-related cardiac arrest during the initial months of the COVID-19 epidemic in the US.

With data available through August, the image above compares the number of cardiac-arrests related to an overdose with the trend line of the previous 2 years. You can see that in April/May there was a sharp increase. With reopenings, the numbers dropped but remain above the values for the last 2 years.

In the graph below, note that the number of overdoses early in the pandemic were more than double the previous 2 years – and continue to be about 50% higher than in previous years.

You can read the article and view more information here: JAMA Psychiatry. Published online December 3, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.4218

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