Drug Overdoses and Stimulus Checks

Drug+Overdoses+and+Stimulus+Checks

Sara Sahagun, Senior Staff Writer

Drug Overdoses. They’re everywhere, and have been for some time; however, have they gotten worse during this pandemic? Is the government aiding addicts by handing out stimulus checks? Have stimulus checks funded these addictions, accidentally? 

Between the months of March 2020 and March 2021, over 96,000 deaths related to drug overdoses were reported, sources state. The Pandemic hit everyone hard, and statistics prove that “deaths caused by overdoses increased by just about 30% since 2019.”  Guillermo Sahagun, a sophomore at Hubbard High School says, “I feel like everybody knows somebody who has been affected by addiction.” And those addiction numbers seem to be growing.  There is a quite obvious correlation between the dawn of Covid-19 and fatalities dealing with overdoses. Are stimulus checks also responsible for this spike in overdose cases? 

If an addict is in search of money for drugs, and he/she is  handed a free check from the government, then this person is going to buy whatever he or she wants with the given cash. These items could be drugs or drug paraphernalia. Mikey Scoville, senior, “When I get money, I buy shoes. When my sister gets money, she buys plane tickets. When my brother gets money, he buys his favorite foods. People are going to spend their money on what brings them the most pleasure.” 

Sources state that many of these deaths occurred immediately after stimulus checks were cashed. “Vermont saw the number of non-fatal overdoses nearly double in the second half of March of 2020 compared with March of 2019,” according to data from the Vermont Department of Health.  This is an alarming statistic. It’s believed that many addicts were using the money from the government-issued checks to purchase opioids. During a tough time like Covid, people are bound to go off the deep end, due to the stress, boredom, and lack of business that struck people. With $600 of pocket cash, the situation will result in even more overdoses. Perhaps it’s time for the government to consider possible negative effects of these checks other than job shortages due to people refusing to reenter the work force because overdoses are a far more serious matter. 

 

Sources:

https://www.wave3.com/2021/10/17/cdc-releases-latest-drug-overdose-statistics/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20CDC%2C%20more%20than%2096%2C000%20drug,is%20calling%20it%20a%20%E2%80%9Ccollision%20of%20health%20crises.%E2%80%9D 

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