U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on opioid addiction treatment with Illinois treatment advocates on Tuesday.
During a phone call with the advocates of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the Illinois Society of Addiction Medicine, and Live4Lali, Durbin and the group discussed the increase in opioid overdose deaths during the pandemic, how to better help patients with substance use disorder access services during the pandemic and how to expand and train the behavioral health workforce in Illinois.
“While COVID-19 has captured our attention, the ‘other pandemic’ – our nation’s opioid crisis – still rages. COVID-19 has forced a decline in life-saving treatment and social services while bringing fear, isolation, and stress into so many households across Illinois, contributing to alarming spikes in suicides, addiction, and overdoses across so many communities. We must do everything we can in Congress to give communities and health providers the support they need to serve residents in need during this unprecedented health crisis,” Durbin said.
According to state officials, Illinois saw a 35 percent jump in overdose opioid overdose deaths during the first three quarters of 2020 compared to opioid overdose deaths in 2019.
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