(Daryl Austin/ Today) — The pandemic shuttered small businesses, caused a bevy of product shortages and has taken the lives of nearly a million Americans. It has also contributed to increased substance abuse as a way to cope with the stresses and losses of COVID-19, according to the American Medical Association, Centers for Disease Control, American Psychological Association and recent studies.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve observed a significant rise in mental health problems including depression, anxiety and addiction,” said Dongju Seo, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.
Chris Foresta, a recovering heroin addict from Las Vegas and author of “Redemption Bridge: My Story of Addiction and Recovery,” said he has witnessed pandemic-related addictions firsthand. “So many of my friends have relapsed during the pandemic,” he said. (…)