We are all too aware of the tragic losses we have suffered because of this pandemic. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 570,000 people have died of Covid-19 as of this writing. What you may not be aware of is another tragic loss of life that occurred at the same time. Over 87,000 individuals overdosed and died in the last 12 months leading to September 2020 according to the CDC. This is a record number of yearly deaths and 29% more than the previous year.
Adams County also experienced a spike. The Coroner’s office has reported 18 deaths in 2020 and only eight in 2019. For explanations of these spikes in deaths, public health officials are zeroing in on the pandemic and a behavioral health service system that failed these individuals. Later we’ll look at whether a Canadian-style single payer system would have been a better service model that could have saved some of these individuals.