He’s also bothered about reports he has heard that calls for domestic violence incidents have tripled in some police departments around the nation. He credited the increase to the “change in circumstances” at home where couples are spending more time together since most employees are working remotely.
Dr. Robert Haley, chief executive officer of Quality Individualized Services (QIS) in Monroe, said his company provides addiction services working primarily with individuals who are addicted to opiates. The business provides counseling, medical services, and lab services.
He has seen an increase in drug relapses as many agencies that once supported drug addicts are either closed or have limited hours. He said medical services have been diverted to the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked about drug addiction during COVID-19, he said: “It never stopped. It only increased.”
He said when those dependant on illegal drugs lose their jobs, become depressed or feel anxiety, they “do what they do best: they use drugs.”
Haley attended numerous Heroin Summit meetings at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown that were started by then-City Manager Doug Adkins in response to the heroin epidemic. Through the summit numerous programs were started and credited for reducing the number of drug overdoses in the region.
Middletown reported 77 fatal overdoses in 2017, 53 in 2018 and about 48 last year, according to the city’s monthly substance abuse report.
But Haley said that progress has been “decimated” due to COVID-19. He predicts there will be a “significant increase” of overdoses in the coming months.
TELLING YOUR STORIES
We’re looking to profile people throughout our coverage area about how the coronavirus is impacting your daily life. If you’re interested in sharing your story about how you’re affected or adapting to the situation, call Journal-News reporter Rick McCrabb at 513-483-5216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the drug overdoses reported by the Butler County Coroner’s Office for the first four months this year compared to the same time in 2019:
SOURCE: Butler County Coroner’s Office