Record number of San Diegans dying from illicit drug use amid lockdowns
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego County Health Officials are reporting a record number of San Diegans dying from illicit drug use in 2020.
San Diego County health officials are reporting record numbers of San Diegans dying from fentanyl, methamphetamine and other prescription drug use. Last year, more than 1,300 people died from opioid or methamphetamine use in the county.
As Governor Newsom recently moved every Southern California County, including San Diego County, back into the most restrictive Purple Tier, health experts, including those at UC San Diego Heath — believe the fatality rate will be higher in 2020.
“The pandemic has broadly increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression as millions of Americans deal with stay-at-home orders, unemployment, decreased social contact over the holidays and more,” said Daniel Lasoff, MD, emergency medicine physician at UC San Diego Health. “These stressors put many individuals who are also dealing with substance use disorders at a heightened risk for overdose, and we’re seeing this happening right now in the emergency department.
Dr. Lasoff joined KUSI’s Ginger Jeffries to discuss the exponential overdose numbers and what we may see in the coming months as lockdowns are re-implemented by our government.