Hidden Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses During COVID-19 Pandemic

JAMA Psychiatry

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 11 A.M. (ET), WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2020

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What The Viewpoint Says: An unexpected tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic is increased opioid and fentanyl overdoses, since many factors could have reduced opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdoses during this pandemic. Another tragedy is that both epidemics depend on vaccine development, but antifentanyl vaccine support includes no pharmaceutical and only three government investments, while industry and government support more than 120 COVID-19 vaccines. This discrepancy in support reflects stigma against those with OUD and failure of approved treatments to decrease overdoses.

Authors: Thomas R. Kosten, M.D., of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, is the corresponding author.

 

(doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.4148)

Editor’s Note: The article includes conflict of interest disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, conflict of interest and financial disclosures, and funding and support.

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