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COVID-19 Lockdowns Will Lead To 200,000 Overdose And Suicide Deaths In U.S. According To New Model

Project Opioid released new analysis projecting the lockdowns and lack of new stimulus are triggering a surge in American deaths caused by overdose and suicide.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, December 8, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Project Opioid released a new analysis today projecting that a continued pandemic lockdown and lack of further stimulus is triggering a new surge in American deaths caused by overdose and suicide.

Using data prepared by the Florida Department of Health that shows a staggering rise in opioid deaths caused by the shutdown, Project Opioid created a model to include the entire United States. The model predicts overdose deaths from March 2020 to March 2021 will be between 140,000 and 175,000 people. When including pandemic suicide-related deaths that number could balloon to a total of 200,000 Americans.

“From our research, it is clear that the first massive spike happened when the shutdowns started. Then as stimulus rolled out and restrictions eased, we saw the numbers stabilize and actually even come down some from the peak, although still significantly higher than 2019,” said Project Opioid CEO Andrae Bailey. “However, without direct support for mental health and substance abuse programs in the Cares Act, the improvement in overdose deaths was only temporary. Now that the economic stimulus programs have ended and new shutdown restrictions were implemented we have already started to see a significant increase in overdoses. Our fear is that we are about to experience an explosive surge that will far exceed the previous peak.”

Additionally, Project Opioid’s director of data, analytics, and strategy, Dr. Kendall Cortelyou-Ward, said that the number of opioid deaths in the Black community has risen at a disturbingly disproportionate rate.

Bailey said, “We are facing an endemic inside of a pandemic.”

There is an urgency for government intervention, according to Project Opioid. “Studies have shown that the suicide rate in the U.S. remained steady during the early stages of the pandemic, but the continued decline in mental health is now also becoming a serious contributing factor to overdose and suicide,” said Bailey. “Including increased suicide rates in to Project Opioid’s modeling provides insight into the massive crisis we are in today. Project Opioid is calling for immediate intervention at a federal level to support economic relief for vulnerable populations, small businesses, and social programs that are addressing the mental health and overdose crisis.”

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Project Opioid was founded in 2018 to address one of the largest public health crises that the United States has ever faced. Initially focused on the crisis in Central Florida, Project Opioid expanded in 2020 to take the effort nationwide in order to help empower leaders to create regional coalitions, launch overdose initiatives, and promote high-level awareness campaigns. Project Opioid’s leading research studies provide municipalities and community leaders with the necessary information to implement meaningful solutions.

Project Opioid Contact:
Andrae Bailey
andrae@projectopioid.org
407-456-0605

Publicist Contact:
Gigi Marino
gigi.marino@otterpr.com
352-727-1282

David Green
david.green@otterpr.com
407-883-1502

Dave Green
Otter Public Relations
+1 407-883-1502
david.green@otterpr.com

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