Opioid overdoses are increasing during the pandemic

Experts say social connections are essential to those suffering from addiction

La Crosse, Wis (WKBT) – Even though the pandemic there is more to be worried about than just the coronavirus.

Between January and June, the Madison Police Department saw a 36% increase in opioid overdose calls compared to last year in the same time frame.

Stronger drugs like fentanyl and the strain of the pandemic are likely some of the major contributing factors to this hidden crisis.

Experts say social connections are essential to those suffering from addiction.

“We realized early on that the messages about social distancing, were maybe giving the wrong message. We want to say physical distancing, but social connectedness because connectedness is really important to people in recovery,” said Dr. Michael Miller, a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine.

To date in 2020, there have been 20 opioid deaths in Madison which is on pace to easily surpass the 29 deaths last year.