Opioid crisis getting worse during COVID-19 pandemic, medical professionals say

Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 4:38 PM CDT
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Medical professionals are seeing stress factors related to the current COVID-19 pandemic are worsening the opioid epidemic.

Since the "Safer at Home" order began, there have been 11 overdose deaths just in Madison, according to Addiction Services and Pharmacotherapy (ASAP).

Madison police reported in the first three months of 2020, they have responded to 64 heroin overdoses, an increase of 60 percent from the first quarter of 2019. They also reported ten overdose deaths, and increase of 25 percent.

In Milwaukee, ASAP said there has been an increase in overdose deaths in Milwaukee, with 160 reported in the first three months.

ASAP, which has locations in Madison and Milwaukee, is staying fully operational for those in need of treatment during the pandemic. It provides Methadone, Suboxone and Vivitrol treatments for addiction.

According to ASAP's Medical Director, Dr. Chistopher Harkin, MD, the facility provides "...evidence-based treatment, which incorporates outpatient medication therapy, which relieves and/or reduces opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings, in conjunction with a regimen of individual and group counseling sessions."

For more information on services and ASAP locations