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Monnat discusses increase in overdoses during the pandemic in VICE

February 22, 2021


Shannon Monnat

Shannon Monnat

The pandemic has been an accelerant in a record era for drug overdose deaths. Between May 2019 and May 2020, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, more than 80,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, a rise of nearly 20 percent. The most pronounced jump in deaths during this period occurred between March and May last year, when COVID-19 lockdowns took effect. "At its core, I think addiction is about a need for connection," says Shannon Monnat, Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion. "My research shows that work, family and community are the three most important factors for understanding why drug overdose rates are higher in some places than others. Work, family and community are the three arenas where we derive meaning and purpose from our lives. If we don’t have those connections, we might seek it out elsewhere, for example with drugs," she says. Monnat was quoted in the VICE article, "Pain and Isolation Are Driving America’s Lockdown Overdose Surge." 

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