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Virus creates other ‘tragic’ outcomes

It is one more symptom of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to residents being restricted — for more than a year — an unfortunate result has been the increasing rates of overdosing and deaths associated with it.

Last week, Chautauqua County issued a news release indicating 54% hike in non-fatal overdoses while fatalities rose 18%, from 33 in 2019 to 39 in 2020. The trend here is no different than what it is across the nation.

“Every death related to this pandemic, whether directly or indirectly, is tragic,”said Pat Brinkman, Chautauqua County Director of Community Mental Hygiene Services. “Reports from our region and the nation are revealing the toll the pandemic has had – on physical health, certainly, but also on emotional health and on substance use. While Chautauqua County has not been immune to these trends, we are extremely grateful for the life-saving efforts of individuals and agencies in our county who have helped address addiction throughout this difficult time. As a result of their work, lives have been saved.”

Addiction is tough to overcome — and this pandemic is likely led to an increasing number of individuals looking for some type of escape. For families — or individuals struggling — there is an outlet for assistance at CombatAddictionCHQ.com/find-help for contact information of the services you or a loved one may need.

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