A city wrestled down an addiction crisis. Then came COVID-19

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Sumary of A city wrestled down an addiction crisis. Then came COVID-19:

  • Https://apnews.com/article/pandemics-public-health-coronavirus-pandemic-financial-markets-covid-19-pandemic-5e461d0ac79466f3c228b633bfea8b09 HUNTINGTON, W..
  • The man had been revived by paramedics, and Cox leads a team with a mission of finding every overdose survivor to save them from the next one..
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic killed more than a half-million Americans, it also quietly inflamed what was before it one of the country greatest public health crises:.
  • The devastation is an indictment of the public health infrastructure, which failed to fight the dueling crises of COVID-19 and addiction, said Dr. Michael Kilkenny, who runs the health department in Cabell County, including Huntington..
  • Simultaneously, Kilkenny said, disruptions in health care exacerbated the collateral consequences of injection drug use — HIV, hepatitis C, deadly bacterial infections that chew flesh to the bone and cause people in their 20s to have amputations and open-heart surgeries..
  • Huntington was once ground zero for the addiction epidemic, and several years ago they formed the Quick Response Team Cox leads..
  • After a hard-fought battle, the overdose rate in Huntington, West Virginia, plummeted – until the coronavirus pandemic arrived and undid much of the local response team’s work..
  • He has a friend in the hospital in her 20s scheduled for open-heart surgery from shooting drugs with dirty needles, and the doctors aren’t sure she’ll make it..
  • The CDC estimates that across the country overdose deaths increased nearly 27% in the 12-month span ending in August 2020..
  • By the time they realized what was happening, dozens had been infected, said Kilkenny with the county health department..
  • They ramped up testing, treatment and the needle exchange program that offers clean syringes to drug users, recommended by the CDC..
  • As Huntington tries to beat back the damage the pandemic has done, Priddy said it feels like their own state is working against them..
  • A bill advancing in the Republican-controlled state legislature would strictly limit needle exchange programs, with critics citing the dangers of discarded syringes and crime..
  • And an hour drive from Huntington, the state capital city of Charleston is experiencing an HIV outbreak that the CDC describes as “the most concerning in the United States.”.
  • Priddy implored her legislator to block the bill, saying that otherwise Huntington hard work will be wiped out and many more will die….

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