Drug overdoses surged during the pandemic. Providers are thinking outside the box to combat the opioid crisis

At least 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a nearly 30% increase from 2019. And while deaths from natural and semi-synthetic opioids stayed relatively flat, overdose deaths from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, rose 43%, driving the bulk of all drug overdose deaths, according to the CDC data.


Health systems, providers and startups are all trying to revolutionize drug addiction treatment and recovery, with some taking a tech-driven approach. Research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that found 80% of people with opioid addiction are not receiving treatment.


Virtual rehab is on the rise, boosted in part by the shift to telehealth during the pandemic. With telemedicine, it was possible to make the process more anonymous, which helped break down the barriers to seeking help.


Source: https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practices/opioid-crisis-treatment-overdoses-fentanyl-analogs-scheduling

Infectious Disease Physician

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