Yearly overdose deaths top 100,000 following COVID lockdowns

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

Steubenville, Ohio (WTRF) – For just about everyone—the last two years have been one uncertain step forward after another.

But for many of us, that uncertainty has morphed into despair, and today the country is reckoning with that pain.

For the first time, the number of yearly overdose deaths has grown to a six-figure total, with 100,000 between May 2020 and April 2021.

And the worst part is—they may not even be done rising.

If the numbers stay on track for 2021, it could be worse than 2020.

Bill Holt, Executive Director, Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board

Bill Holt with the Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board says 2020 was a toxic combination for those struggling with addiction.

Not only did quarantine put them out of reach of their friends, it happened at the same time drugs reached a whole new level of deadly power.

Chemical combinations from Mexico and China made their way to our shores, taking American lives but often being overshadowed by the constant COVID news.

This country didn’t pay enough attention to what was happening with overdoses and with opioids and with fentanyl especially.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, (D)-Ohio

Senator Brown reiterated that Congress has the power to help people put down the needle.

The Power Act still hasn’t passed, which would give officers more resources to find street fentanyl more quickly.

He says the more local the better when it comes to policing..

It’s the federal government, but it’s partnering always with local communities in Bellaire, and in Steubenville, and in Wintersville and up and down the river.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, (D)-Ohio

The continuing drug epidemic can’t be seen as anything other than a tragedy.

But for Bill Holt and Jefferson County health officials — every person saved with a shot of Naloxone is a renewed chance for recovery.

He believes that an aware and caring public can reveal the promise of life to those who suffer—even in their most hopeless moments.

I really feel very strongly that the area is really ripe for a turnaround and a real big change.

Bill Holt, Executive Director, Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board

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