Connect with Point of View   to get exclusive commentary and updates

Deadly Isolation

suicide death increase due to COVID
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

The lockdowns during the pandemic may have been helpful for our physical health, but they have not been so helpful for our mental health. One example can be seen in the dramatic increase in drug overdose deaths.

The database constructed by the Washington Post found a troubling correlation between the lockdowns and drug overdose deaths. Of course, a correlation doesn’t mean causation, but I think we can reasonably infer the connection between the two.

Even if you assume that drug use during the lockdowns has remained constant, the writers at the newspaper can still come up with two reasons why drug overdose deaths have increased. First, the pandemic and the lockdowns have disrupted the drug supply chains. This might have led to more and more drug users to taking more deadly synthetic drugs.

The second reason is even darker and more disturbing. In a world of isolation and social distancing, many of these sequestered people are taking drugs alone. That means it is less likely that there might be someone else around who could call 911. Drug use in the midst of social isolation has become deadly.

Of course, there is every reason to believe that drug use did increase during the lockdowns. People were home alone, with little to do. Their jobs used to provide structure and purpose. It also provided them with earned income and self-esteem. Many of the people at home lost their jobs. It’s easy to see why more isolated people might turn to drugs.

Increased drug use and increased drug overdose deaths are an important factor to keep in mind when politicians call for another lockdown. There are a number of mental and medical costs associated with lockdowns that often are often ignored in the political debates and discussions. There is a deadly cost to social isolation.

viewpoints new web version

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Viewpoints sign-up