Drug Overdose Deaths Spike in 2020
The state is seeing a significant increase in drug overdose deaths. Drug overdose deaths increased 31% the first half of this year, compared to the first half of last year.
The Crystal Police Department said every year drug use in all categories seems to go up. That includes drugs like heroin, cocaine, marijuana and opioids.
In the city of Crystal alone, there has been 20 reported overdoses and 5 reported overdose deaths this year. The Crystal Police department didn’t begin officially tracking drug-related numbers until the end of last year, so there’s no official numbers to compare it to, said Crystal Deputy Police Chief Brian Hubbard. But Hubbard said there’s definitely an increase. He added that the pandemic could have been a factor too.
“As people struggle, whether you’re struggling with life or mental illness, we often find people turning to chemicals as a coping mechanism,” said Hubbard. “Certainly we know that the mental health, anxiety, depression that people have felt have increased during this time. So it goes to reason that you’ll see an increase in chemical use for people trying to help themselves combat that.”
Hubbard is urging people to call 911 right away if they see a person experiencing an overdose. Both you and the person you’re calling about are protected from any criminal prosecution, he said.
If you or someone you know has a problem with abusing drugs, your local police department can provide resources.