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Surgical procedure Estimates suggest that 2.9 million surgical patients become persistent opioid users each year. (ALM Archives)

The opioid crisis was of significant concern before COVID-19, and it’s only been exacerbated by the pandemic. The resulting health and economic consequences of coronavirus have added another layer of stress, anxiety, fear and worry about job security to most people’s lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this environment is especially challenging for high-risk individuals including drug users and those undergoing treatment as well as those with depression, living alone or having personal/marital issues. The void of connection, isolation and limited access to drug treatment and recovery programs has resulted in a surge of substance abuse and opioid overdoses.

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