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Peabody Award-winner Trey Kay brings us stories exploring all sides of the cultural issues that too often divide us.

Fatal Overdoses: Pandemic Is Especially Deadly For West Virginians Battling Addictions

Deadly Overdoses - Image
Lalena Price
Fatal Overdoses: Pandemic is Especially Deadly for West Virginians Battling Addictions

The COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out but there’s no obvious fix for other long term medical consequences of the pandemic.

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the deadliest year ever for overdose deaths in the twelve months between June 2019 and June 2020. Lethal overdoses were up by 20%. Isolation, anxiety and boredom, three triggers for drug abuse, have created the so-called mental health ‘shadow pandemic.’

And for West Virginia, an existing shortage of healthcare professionals means there are not enough workers for hospitals, clinics and treatment centers that are seeing more patients in distress.

In this episode, Us & Them host Trey Kay visits a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program at Cabin Creek Health Systems in Charleston, WV to speak with doctors, nurses and patients about what it takes to stay drug free in the Age of COVID-19. He also speaks with Christina Mullins, Commissioner of the Bureau for Behavioral Health in West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources.

This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

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