When the pandemic hit, the Health Department turned its attention from opioids to Covid-19. Now opioid deaths are up 50% this year.
"The initial figures appear to confirm what state health officials and providers spanning the state's "hub and spoke" treatment system feared as the pandemic arrived: that social isolation, service limitations and economic hardships might worsen the existing opioid epidemic. "When the shutdown happened, all of the people who work in the substance-use division of the Department of Health, that was where their minds immediately went," Dougherty said."
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