In October, Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, spoke to a virtual crowd of over 400 attendees, moderated by Dr. Debra Houry, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
Isolation, job loss, economic insecurity, and anxiety resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting millions of Americans. These same factors are also at the root of the opioid epidemic. The despair brought on by COVID-19, combined with diminished access to treatment and personal contact as part of social distancing efforts, could in turn fuel the ongoing opioid epidemic.
Yet, as Quinones described, there are signs of hope that the pandemic has renewed an appreciation for community, the desire to make personal connections again, and the strengthening of bonds that may provide resilience in recovery from both COVID-19 and the opioid epidemic.
This event was hosted by the Georgia Health Policy Institute, as part of a year-long 25th anniversary celebration. The Center for Law, Health & Society co-sponsored the event.