For many with substance abuse disorders, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a trigger, Newton-Wellesley Hospital Recovery Coach Hallie DeLorey said.
“During this virus, our patients are really, really struggling… especially struggling with isolation and lack of structure, and fear, which then they obviously want to self-medicate,” DeLorey said in a virtual Opioid Task Force meeting with Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan on Wednesday.
This year, State Police assigned to the DA’s office have responded to 68 overdose deaths in Middlesex County, Ryan said. By about this time last year, police had responded to 61 overdose deaths.
Amid the pandemic, individuals struggling with substance abuse may face homelessness, or be unable to attend support groups and meetings, Ryan said.