According to the American Psychological Association, the ongoing stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an increase in mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and the misuse of substances – especially alcohol, opioids and stimulants. Roughly 13% of Americans reported starting or increasing substance use as a way to cope with stress or emotions related to the pandemic.
Overdoses have also spiked. The early months of the pandemic brought an 18% increase nationwide in overdoses. According to the American Medical Association, more than 40 U.S. states have seen increases in opioid-related mortality, along with ongoing concerns for those with substance use disorders.
These trends are also captured by the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics. Key findings include: