Overdose deaths reaching record highs locally and throughout the country

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — More than 100,000 people have died from drug overdoses this year in the United States. It’s a record high within a single year, according to the CDC.

Executive Director of the Drug Education Council Virginia Guy says this is an issue we are seeing in Mobile as well.

“For instance, I got three calls last week from families who lost someone to overdose. That didn’t happen a year or two ago,” Guy said.

Guy says these overdose deaths are hitting one age group, the hardest. “The majority of the people that we’re losing are between the ages of 25-55. Those are the ages where were starting families, working, developing our careers.”

So, what’s the reason behind this sudden increase in overdose deaths?

Guy says, she believes the pandemic may be a huge part of the problem. 

“We put a pandemic on top of an opioid epidemic, and it really caused things to spiral out of control,” Guy said. “The loss of jobs, the destruction of schedules, the isolation. All of that led to more drug use, which then led to more overdose deaths.”

Guy says another part of the problem may stem from how drugs that are bought on the black market are tainted. The executive director says oftentimes, consumers think they are buying one type of opioid, and they are actually buying another opioid that may be laced with substances such as fentanyl.

As we are facing this issue throughout our country, locally, there are places that can intervene, and help those on their road to recovery. The Drug Education Council is one of those places.

“Some people can get help through support groups. Some people need detox residential treatment or outpatient treatment,” Guy said. “There’s a whole cafeteria of plan that’s a continuum of care of services and were able to plug them in, wherever they need.”

For more information on the Drug Education Council, visit their website.

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