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Increase in ‘deaths of despair’ caused by economy could kill more than COVID-19, doctors suggest

James Judge - September 1, 2020

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A local drug and alcohol treatment center is hoping to prevent deaths of despair, which are deaths related to drugs, alcohol and/ or suicide by raising awareness about National Recovery Month this September.

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. – According to recent reports, deaths of despair, inducing deaths related to drugs, alcohol and suicide, are skyrocketing this year due to the economic collapse caused by the response to COVID-19, which has forced millions of Americans into unemployment.

According to the report, which was published by Well Being Trust and the Robert Graham Center, experts are now predicting more than 150,000 additional deaths could be added to the yearly deaths of despair. To put things in perspective, when the economy was doing well in 2018 there were more than 180,000 deaths of despair. Now, doctors are worried that number could climb by more than 150,000 additional deaths.

“This news is absolutely heartbreaking and staggering, however, it doesn’t have to be this way,” said John Templeton, founder of Footprints Beachside Recovery Center a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Treasure Island, Florida. “We’ve had hundreds of people successfully complete our drug and alcohol treatment programs, and with National Recovery Month kicking off today, we need to do all we can to help people find sobriety and claim recovery by letting them know that there is hope.”

September is National Recovery Month and experts from Footprints are hoping to encourage those who are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and dependency.

“We absolutely know that many suicides are linked to alcohol and drug related problems, and we want those people to know that we are here for them, and we want to help,” Templeton said.

Footprints provides treatment options including day/night treatment, a men’s program, women’s program, outpatient treatment, relapse prevention, sober living, detox, treatment for professionals, and treatment for doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals. Some of the areas of treatment are for alcohol, heroin, meth, cocaine, opioids, ecstasy, marijuana, hallucinogens and dual diagnosis disorders.

National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives. Now in its 31st year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those living in recovery.

About Footprints Beachside Recovery Center:

Founded in 2008, Footprints Beachside Recovery Center is a small, private, holistic substance abuse treatment center for adults and is located in Pinellas County, Fla. Footprints provides specialized treatment plans for patients from throughout the U.S. and around the world. Opioid addiction recovery programs at Footprints focus on ensuring safe withdrawals and often combine holistic treatment with medication assisted therapies to reduce cravings and provide more successful recovery outcomes for patients.

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