The COVID-19 pandemic is making the U.S. drug overdose epidemic worse

As COVID-19 cases surge, so do drug overdose deaths in the U.S.

Posted: Aug 31, 2021 9:37 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The nation's COVID-19 pandemic has made the nation's drug overdose epidemic worse. And now, the nation could soon face another opioid-related issue.

Several clients at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge in Rochester have depended on Narcan to save their life. But the overdose antidote, naloxone or Narcan, is temporarily running out. Pfizer has reported its company has run into production issues and anticipates not getting back to normal until February of next year.

For people like Jonathan, who is a client at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, he's only alive today because of the treatment. He's overdosed 26 times over a five-year span. One time needing 6 shots of Narcan to come back to life.

Jonathan has been in and out of the facility, as well as jail, a few different times now. He said after losing 22 friends to drug overdoses, he knows he can't go down that path anymore. "It's still a constant struggle every day, but I know that when I fight for that faith and I fight to walk that walk, it gets better," explained Jonathan. "The days get brighter, the sun comes out and it's just an all out better day. You know, I wake up every day and I thank God that I'm waking up. I thank that I'm sober and had a sober day. I love the fact that I can call my mom and dad at any time and they answer."

Jonathan said the isolation that was brought on from the pandemic made him relapse several different times. But he's hopeful he won't do it again. "The difference now is now I've become a Christian again and I've got God on my side," he explained. "I've seen the damage that it caused to my family. My mom is still currently going through PTSD from finding me dead."

The executive director at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge said in all of 2020, the facility took in nearly 2,400 clients. So far this year, they've had nearly 2,900 people walk through the doors. He explained they've created a specialized opioid track program designed to help clients who are addicted to a specific drug. There are nearly 355 clients currently in that program.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 755401

Reported Deaths: 8531
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1513291905
Ramsey62614972
Dakota56158520
Anoka53010513
Washington33145327
Stearns27922252
St. Louis23178352
Scott21316159
Wright20879170
Olmsted17821118
Sherburne15232111
Carver1336954
Clay1006598
Rice9855131
Blue Earth949559
Crow Wing9254105
Kandiyohi819195
Chisago816662
Otter Tail7807104
Benton7363108
Beltrami633276
Mower631740
Douglas616189
Goodhue603683
Winona603653
Itasca596978
McLeod580868
Steele572425
Isanti558172
Morrison541565
Becker518762
Polk502577
Freeborn480842
Nobles477052
Lyon444456
Carlton438666
Nicollet423051
Pine419930
Cass413142
Mille Lacs403565
Brown398846
Todd389336
Le Sueur378331
Meeker350452
Waseca322629
Martin316534
Wabasha28495
Hubbard283644
Dodge26819
Roseau258924
Fillmore236312
Redwood234143
Wadena230229
Houston229017
Renville224249
Faribault214630
Pennington213227
Sibley204512
Cottonwood193027
Kanabec187130
Chippewa185839
Aitkin178442
Watonwan168711
Pope15328
Rock153219
Yellow Medicine151120
Jackson144114
Koochiching137219
Clearwater133318
Swift132619
Pipestone131627
Marshall131419
Murray131310
Stevens122311
Lake106221
Wilkin100214
Lac qui Parle95024
Mahnomen86312
Norman8459
Big Stone7874
Grant7669
Lincoln7525
Kittson59522
Red Lake5769
Unassigned528124
Traverse5005
Lake of the Woods4524
Cook2420

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 467281

Reported Deaths: 6685
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk73698716
Linn28680379
Scott24441271
Black Hawk20130355
Woodbury18854242
Johnson17800100
Dubuque15577228
Pottawattamie14073197
Dallas13894107
Story1275148
Warren763496
Webster6876111
Cerro Gordo6816107
Clinton6814100
Des Moines657893
Marshall635484
Muscatine6294113
Wapello5807136
Jasper571478
Lee560787
Sioux560276
Marion499791
Buena Vista489745
Plymouth459187
Henry378647
Jones365160
Washington362255
Bremer353867
Benton352056
Boone344837
Carroll341753
Crawford337345
Mahaska313656
Dickinson297651
Clay274631
Buchanan274239
Jackson270445
Kossuth269373
Hardin266448
Tama261476
Fayette253848
Delaware253444
Cedar246326
Page244827
Wright240945
Winneshiek230837
Hamilton228553
Floyd216744
Harrison215277
Madison214325
Clayton210058
Poweshiek206840
Iowa204229
Butler203237
Jefferson197340
Mills197227
Allamakee192952
Cherokee191943
Lyon190641
Cass190557
Winnebago185432
Hancock184739
Calhoun184115
Appanoose175950
Shelby174239
Louisa169651
Grundy167937
Emmet163842
Franklin163328
Humboldt161826
Mitchell161843
Union159437
Chickasaw156418
Sac156323
Guthrie154034
Palo Alto140831
Clarke140028
Montgomery138941
Keokuk137534
Monroe131534
Howard125422
Ida116641
Davis113825
Greene113712
Lucas112224
Pocahontas109323
Monona107436
Worth10678
Adair103634
Osceola91117
Fremont83711
Van Buren82721
Decatur81212
Taylor78612
Wayne72024
Ringgold66827
Audubon64514
Adams4984
Unassigned150
Rochester
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Mason City
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