WATCH – It’s M.A.T. or DIE says Wall Street Journal –

Sept. 8, 2020 – When Covid-19 struck, the U.S. was already in the grip of an expanding drug-overdose crisis. It has only gotten worse since then.

Counties in states spanning the country, from Washington to Arizona and Florida, are reporting rising drug fatalities this year, according to data collected by The Wall Street Journal. This follows a likely record number of deadly overdoses in the U.S. last year, with more than 72,000 people killed, according to federal projections.

The pandemic has destabilized people trying to maintain sobriety or who are struggling with addiction during a time of increased social isolation and stress, according to treatment providers and public-health authorities. In a survey of U.S. adults released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13% of respondents in June said they had started or increased substance use to deal with stress or emotions related to Covid-19.

The drug deaths are adding to the pandemic’s toll, which includes more than 188,000 infection-related fatalities, but also other deaths linked to factors such as disruptions in health care and economic dislocation.