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Mayo Clinic officials speak about opioid crisis during COVID-19 pandemic

Seemingly forgotten during the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis has not disappeared – in many ways it has intensified with increases in drug overdoses and suicides.  Dr. Halena Gazelka, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist specializing in pain management and chair of the Mayo Clinic Opioid Stewardship Program stated to KAUS News that there are many reasons as to why individuals are having a worse time with addiction during the coronavirus pandemic…

Gazelka went on to state that due to a decrease in illicit substances during the COVID-19 pandemic, those addicted to opioids have turned to drugs laced with fentanyl, a powerful pain relieving medication…

Cynthia Townsend, Ph.D., a clinical health psychologist and clinical director of the Mayo Clinic Pain Rehabilitation Center in Arizona stated that the worsening of the opioid epidemic during the COVID-19 pandemic is both a mental and public health crisis during these uncertain times…

Dr. Holly Geyer, a Mayo Clinic addiction medicine specialist stated that opioids are most addictive when they are taken using methods different from what was prescribed, such as crushing a pill so that it can be snorted or injected.  Geyer stated that this life-threatening practice is even more dangerous if the pill is a long- or extended-acting formulation.  Geyer went on to state that rapidly delivering all the medicine to your body can cause an accidental overdose, and taking more than your prescribed dose of opioid medication, or more often than prescribed, also increases your risk of addiction.


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