Opiate Overdoses Spike in Black Philadelphians Since Covid-19

A recent study led by PISC Scholar Eugenia South, MD, MSPH, and PISC Trainee Utsha Khatri examined rates of opiate overdose fatalities among Black and white Philadelphians. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, fatal opiate overdoses were more common among white individuals than Black individuals in Philadelphia. However, after analyzing fatality rates from before and after the Philadelphia stay-at-home order was issued, results show that opiate overdose fatality rates for Black Philadelphians increased by 50%. Consequently, overdose rates for white Philadelphians fell by 31%. Professionals are concerned by this dramatic change. “These differential trends in opioid overdose suggest that racial inequities were exacerbated by the pandemic,” Khatri says.

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