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OfflineYthanA
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Stimulus checks lead to rash of overdoses in New Hampshire, Vermont
    #26786687 - 06/27/20 08:32 AM (7 days, 19 hours ago)

Stimulus checks lead to rash of overdoses in New Hampshire, Vermont
www.concordmonitor.com

Opioid overdoses in the Twin States have started to spike upward amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the stress and challenges that have come along with it.

Vermont saw the number of non-fatal overdoses nearly double in March of this year, compared with March of last year, according to data from the Vermont Department of Health.

The number of fatal overdoses also more than doubled, going up to nine and 17 for March and April of this year, from four and eight in March and April of 2019.

New Hampshire saw an increase of roughly 30% in drug overdose deaths in April and May compared to the same months last year, according to preliminary data released by the New Hampshire chief medical examiner on Monday. There were 42 deaths in April and 45 in May, up from 32 in April and 35 in May of 2019.

Those counts, which include both confirmed deaths and those pending toxicology, are also above the numbers for those months in 2018.

While health officials are still digging through the data to identify trends, they are fairly certain the increases are a result of the impact of the pandemic and efforts to mitigate it, said Cynthia Seivwright, who directs the Vermont Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program at the state Department of Health. She pointed to fear, anxiety and depression tied to COVID-19 itself, but also to related job losses and financial challenges.

“Social isolation, we think, is a very big part of this,” she said.

She noted that the overdose reversal drug naloxone, also known by the trade name Narcan, is only effective if someone else is there to administer it. It can’t be used if someone is using drugs alone.

Seivwright said it appears that some of the deaths were right after the person received a stimulus check.

“Getting those checks is a trigger for people,” she said.

As in-person meetings gradually resume as the Twin States reopen, treatment providers and others in the recovery community are hopeful that they will be able to bring the overdose trends in line with where they were pre-pandemic when both New Hampshire and Vermont had begun to see annual decreases in overdose deaths.

“We know the things that are working,” said Seivwright. “We’re doing it in maybe a different way, but still reaching people. We all have to get creative during these times, don’t we?”

Most treatment providers and recovery centers have continued to provide services during the stay-at-home orders using Zoom, telephone and text messaging, but it took them a few weeks to make the switch effectively, Seivwright said. It’s possible that some people left treatment then, she said.

While online meetings have eliminated the barrier that transportation once created for people living in rural areas, it has created another by requiring that people have access to the devices and internet required to connect.

“Every day somebody stops by and says, ‘Are you open?’ ” said Mike Johnson, who directs the Turning Point Recovery Center in Springfield, Vt.

Johnson said he is preparing both to bring employees back and to hold one-on-one and small group sessions in person in the near future. For now, some groups are meeting outside and some are still online in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re trying to meet the demands as best we can,” he said.

Turning Point is a part of the Springfield Outreach Team that in normal times goes to see a person who has recently overdosed and declined to be transported to an emergency department, Johnson said. The team offers the person a harm-reduction bag, which includes information about treatment and recovery resources as well as naloxone.

But during the pandemic, the team members have been unable to visit with people who’ve recently overdosed so they have to try to track them down by phone, Johnson said.

“Half the time the phone numbers don’t work,” he said.

Turning Point recovery coaches have continued to offer support to people in emergency departments at Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor and Springfield (Vt.) Hospital using telehealth.

“We are aware of an increase in overdose deaths in Windsor County during the pandemic,” said Mt. Ascutney CEO Joseph Perras. “We are working to coordinate the responses of first responders and medical providers to intervene as early as possible in patients with opioid use disorder.”

In addition to connecting patients with recovery coaches, Perras said emergency department providers can help patients who have recently overdosed to begin medication-assisted treatment. The hospital also serves as a free naloxone distribution site, he said.

Turning Point operates a 24-hour support line through which staff members aim to help people get through the urge to use. Other resources are available online through vthelplink.org.

“Those moments really don’t last that long,” Johnson said.

Even if someone has to call several times in one night, getting through a period of an intense craving can show people that “it’s possible to get through,” he said.

They can then build on that success to “make the big one work,” he said, alluding to a longer-term effort to abstain from drug use.

Johnson said he’s hopeful that resuming in-person one-on-one visits, especially with people who are early in their recovery, will make a difference.

“It’s always great to be with someone who understands what you’re feeling,” he said.


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InvisibleBarnaby
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Re: Stimulus checks lead to rash of overdoses in New Hampshire, Vermont [Re: Ythan]
    #26786731 - 06/27/20 08:50 AM (7 days, 19 hours ago)

Really doesn't surprise me.  Read a different article about how many are using or have used their covid money on drugs and alcohol nationwide as well.  God, I do but not the ones that can cause death. 

But to the article.  Minnie is coming out of the shadows.  Only been there once and it sucked, dead of Winter.  Point being am learning so much more about it.  I always thought it was like Canada but was really wrong on that assumption. 

Whatever.  Time for a beer run.  K-pins are well stocked and ciggies.  Made me laugh when they told me you could die!  No, no you really can't IME but not suicidal by any means.  Thinking of ordering this shirt that reads with a picture of a guy holding a stein of beer, DRINKING MY WAY THROUGH COVID!  Would get it but riding a 3 plus year streak of not being arrested and a 10 plus year streak of not being on probation.  And in Utah, wearing a shirt like that even though I am white they look at me the same way here as a black person and the legal system is ridiculously inane and for profit and it would basically be putting a bullseye on me.  They say Mormons, they DEMAND you call them Saints, they aren't no Saints, are friendly but is not genuine and some of the fakest people I have ever met.

Best in Minnie.  All this shit will die down, no pun intended when Winter hits but long way off so will be interesting to keep track of.  Plus what is going down in Seattle.  Maybe the T-Wolves will make the playoffs this year in Disneyworld, lol.  Something positive to think about I guess.


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OfflineFractal420
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Re: Stimulus checks lead to rash of overdoses in New Hampshire, Vermont [Re: Barnaby]
    #26786922 - 06/27/20 10:08 AM (7 days, 17 hours ago)

Why is the problem not the pandemic but a stimulus check?


--------------------
Dreaming of That face again.
It's bright and blue and shimmering.
Grinning wide
And comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes.

Prying open MY third eye



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InvisibleBarnaby
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Re: Stimulus checks lead to rash of overdoses in New Hampshire, Vermont [Re: Fractal420]
    #26787515 - 06/27/20 02:01 PM (7 days, 13 hours ago)

It is obvious.  People have 1,200 dollars more to spend then they use to.  Basic math really.  Plus unemployment.


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Offlinedurian_2008
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Re: Stimulus checks lead to rash of overdoses in New Hampshire, Vermont [Re: Barnaby]
    #26787755 - 06/27/20 04:31 PM (7 days, 11 hours ago)

You never have to be bored, hungry, or feel pain, and this is a death sentence. High art and the treasures of the ages might have been appreciated over your Obama phones.



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OfflineFractal420
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Re: Stimulus checks lead to rash of overdoses in New Hampshire, Vermont [Re: durian_2008]
    #26788733 - 06/28/20 02:25 AM (7 days, 1 hour ago)

It’s just 1200 dollars, I mean you can OD for 10 bucks but the point is if you can’t trust Americans with 1200 that’s really shitty

What happened to work and getting paid. Even kiddie weed dealers buy QPs and shit too.

What I would say is, maybe don’t trust the local dope supply during these times. I’d imagine the better/safer stuff would fly by

Btw I knew someone from New Hampshire during the OC era and they said they were extremely popular but super expensive. Compared to my area where it was like 10 bucks a pill due to massive influx of generics (OC80s by Teva kicked that off)

93/33

Can’t forget those numbers


--------------------
Dreaming of That face again.
It's bright and blue and shimmering.
Grinning wide
And comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes.

Prying open MY third eye



Edited by Fractal420 (06/28/20 03:21 AM)


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OfflineBuckomcdoogle
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Registered: 11/27/19
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Re: Stimulus checks lead to rash of overdoses in New Hampshire, Vermont [Re: Fractal420]
    #26788855 - 06/28/20 03:59 AM (7 days, 16 seconds ago)

"The real American dream is an Oxycodone Rx and a disability check"


--------------------
"Nothing is more dangerous to your creativity than comfort and familiarity"

“If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.” - Zappa

"It's called rational thinking" - Zappa

"Logic leads to nihilism..."

Love, in a lot of ways is like good drugs, when you get good drugs its very obvious you got good drugs.


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InvisibleBarnaby
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Re: Stimulus checks lead to rash of overdoses in New Hampshire, Vermont [Re: Buckomcdoogle]
    #26789245 - 06/28/20 09:00 AM (6 days, 18 hours ago)

But everyone is concerned about Vermont.  The size of Texas.  We all care about rich white dumb fucks.  And syrup especially pure maple syrup.  Vermont is the center of the States.

God you fucking M's.  Are idiotic beyond belief.:shrug:


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OfflineMrTinAZ
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Registered: 07/01/20
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Re: Stimulus checks lead to rash of overdoses in New Hampshire, Vermont [Re: Barnaby]
    #26801486 - 07/03/20 01:39 PM (1 day, 14 hours ago)

Dude, you realize people are just having a conversation based on a news article? It isn't like a whole bunch of sat around and said "What is the most pressing issue and the most important State?" and we all decided "Vermont".

There certainly are issues with power structures in this country, but transposing those onto us for commenting on a news post is beyond silly. If your goal was to come off like a condescending elitist you succeeded but if you were actually trying to start a productive dialogue about the issues you mentioned than you have sure  failed.


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