Drug Overdose deaths in US rise due to Covid

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – According to the CDC, drug overdose deaths in the US rose to almost 30% in 2020. Which is approximately 93,331 people. Throughout the initial surge of the Covid-19 virus, some Kentuckians became dependent on others, and in some cases became dependent on a substance. In the case of Eukie Ward, the former drug addict knew she needed to break her habit before it broke her and her family any more

“I had lost everything. I lost custody of my kids. I lost my vehicle my family my mom she just blocked me out of her life,” recounts Ward.

For fifteen plus years, Ward was struggling with her addiction, mostly to opioids.
She tells ABC 36 that she went through treatment 3 times before finally getting clean two years ago.

“It almost cost me my life..Thankfully it didn’t,” says Ward.

According to the CDC from January 2020 there were 1,374 reported cases of drug overdose deaths in Kentucky. In January 2021, there were a little over 2,000, resulting in a 59.2% change in just one year. Ward says recovery isn’t easy but what does help is getting support from specialists, loved ones and employers. Rob Perez is the owner of DV8 Kitchen, a restaurant in Lexington that hires people in recovery.

“People are dying and its super important that we get back to having community and having relationships and helping people in recovery,” says Perez.

One of Perez’s employees, Brandy Day once battled addiction like Eukie Ward. She tells ABC 36 that her rock bottom came after her husband whom she met in recovery, succumbed to his addiction and passed away from overdose in September 2020.
Day says the thought of her husband helps her stay clean and working keeps her mind at work so she can stay on the right path

“I think about him on a daily basis. I am still breathing..So I have a chance to do this not only for myself but for him as well,” says Day.

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