COVID-19 pandemic affects mental health, opioid addiction in West Virginia

Health

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – As COVID-19 continues to grip the nation, mental health is a concern for those working to overcome addiction.

A local advocate, Mendi Scott, shared her story about how she manages having a daughter who struggles with drug use.

“She was in a car wreck in 2012, and the doctors pushed pain pills on her,” said Scott. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, two out of three drug overdose deaths in 2018 involved an opioid.

Dr. Cheryl McNeil, a Professor of Psychology at West Virginia University, said that the pandemic has taken a toll on many people and how those close can help.

“You really want to check in with your loved ones, you want to stay connected socially, and you definitely want to see if you can keep them connected to their therapy services, so that they can get through these particularly stressful times,” Dr. McNeil said.

Now that Congress is in session, the question remains, whether more money in the next coronavirus aid package will go toward mental health services and drug addiction treatment.

Congresswoman Carol Miller sakd the pandemic has been a setback for managing the opioid crisis in West Virginia.

“In May in particular, cases nearly doubled.” “It’s been a tough time for people when they self-isolate,” said Miller.

Mendi Scott, continues to fight for those overcoming addiction, hoping to help.

“You just never know, who you’re gonna touch, who you’re gonna talk to,” said Scott.

Scott runs an area support group called, Helping Every Addicts LovedOnes, and has an extension of that on Facebook. She can also be reached at Homes For Harrison.

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