On the Sunday morning sidewalk
Wishing, Lord, that I used to be stoned
‘Trigger there’s one thing in a Sunday
Makes a physique really feel alone.
“Sunday Morning Coming Down” – Kris Kristofferson
Twenty-six folks in Connecticut died of overdoses on the 4 Sundays of this previous April. Twenty-one males. 5 females. One was aged 15-24, eight had been 25-34, six 35-44, 4 45-54, 5 55-64, one 65-74. I don’t know their names, what sort of lives they lived, or who they cherished. Twenty-six deaths was probably the most deadly overdoses on any day of the week in a month to this point this yr.*
I don’t imagine folks overdose intentionally. However I imagine some overdose deaths are unintentional suicides of despair. The particular person utilizing the medicine is aware of that the quantity of drug they’re doing on the time might result in their demise, however they’re so sick and forlorn and drained, and infrequently so deeply alone, that they throw an additional bag or two within the cooker in hopes the ache will go away and that they’ll escape right into a bliss they haven’t recognized for a very long time.
On March 21, 2020, Connecticut shut down the state because of COVID. That transfer undoubtedly saved numerous lives as Connecticut was capable of ultimately get some semblance of management (no less than within the first wave) of the quickly escalating pandemic. Sadly, a few of these 26 might have been collateral harm.
In a weblog put up, Deadly Overdoses, written final April I mentioned the attainable causes we’d see elevated overdose deaths.
Established drug provide strains expertise disruptions that drive customers to purchase from unfamiliar sources, growing their possibilities of overdosing.
Coaching and substance outreach applications are both closed or have restricted hours. Some have moved on-line, which is okay in case you have a house and a pc. Not a lot in case you are displaced.
Individuals might not have entry to the assistance they want in addition to lowered entry to naloxone and clear needles.
Isolating folks with present psychological well being points might lead former customers (with now lowered tolerance) to return to substance use.
The elevated launch of prisoners with a historical past of drug use places them in danger for overdose because of their lack of tolerance.
Sufferers with undiagnosed COVID-19 could also be much less resilient in the event that they do overdose because of lowered respiratory capability.
And folks with out work, with elevated financial and social pressures, might search escape.
I wrote about speaking with Mark Jenkins, the pinnacle of the Larger Hartford Hurt Discount Coalition a couple of homeless girl who I discovered useless on a mattress in a vacant condominium that she had discovered a approach into. She had been a daily at his drop-in middle, and so they had been all mourning her passing. Mark informed me that day how apprehensive he was. Now on this time of COVID we’re telling folks to isolate, he mentioned, to distance themselves, which is against every thing we’ve informed the substance use group up to now. Come collectively, look out for one another, there’s security in teams.
In complete, April in Connecticut noticed 133 overdose deaths, 56% greater than the earlier April, and as many as would die later in July 2020, a month that’s traditionally one of many highest (in contrast to April) for overdose deaths.
Connecticut is on tempo in 2020 for 1400 folks to die of overdoses– a rise of 200 deaths (17%) over 2019.
I hope that because the chaos clears from the election because it appears to be with an rising Biden presidency and a unbroken Republican Senate, that Democrat and Republican can come collectively and put vitriol and energy struggles apart and begin working for the folks once more, begin searching for our most weak.
Handle this disaster. Acknowledge Habit is a Illness and Deal with it Medically. Finish the Stigma. Embrace Hurt Discount.
Convey our brothers and sisters in from the chilly. Nobody ought to be alone on this nice nation of ours. We maintain our personal. We’re our brother’s keepers.
*Not counting July, a month a lot recognized for increased overdose deaths, when there have been 27 deaths over 5 Fridays.
Information from Connecticut Division of Public Well being
Drug Overdose Deaths in Connecticut 2015-2020
(Accessed November 5, 2020)
Drug Overdoses Month-to-month Report, January 2019-September 2020