Pandemic stirs complicated feelings for families affected by opioid crisis

Many Americans who have lost a loved one to opioid addiction are grappling with feelings of resentment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to PennLive.

With COVID-19 dominating the news cycle and eliciting severely restrictive legislation, these friends and family members are questioning why the opioid crisis — which has killed more than 450,000 Americans since 1999 — has not been met with the same response. They argue there is an epidemic double standard, adding that the nation's opioid epidemic has not been treated as a true health crisis.

"Some people are posting, 'this is terrible that people are dying of this (coronavirus), but wouldn't it be nice if people reacted this way to the opioid epidemic?'" Joanne Clough, whose daughter died of an opioid overdose in 2016, told PennLive. "Some people feel like their kids just didn't matter."

Additionally, the families and friends of people in recovery said they are worried about the possibility of relapse during the pandemic. The drastic spikes in unemployment, dislocation, isolation and social disruption have eliminated support systems for those in recovery, including 12-step meetings, group therapy and inpatient treatment.


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