Opioid overdoses spike in the shadow of Covid-19

CityLab Daily

Thwarted progress: As coronavirus cases surged across North America, another epidemic was escalating away from the spotlight. Deaths related to opioid overdoses spiked in parts of Canada and the U.S. as public health officials pivoted their focus to tackling the pandemic. Some local governments have seen more than double the number of opioid-related fatalities compared with a year ago, and in some cities, experts predict that overdose deaths could far exceed those from Covid-19.

Before the pandemic began, a handful of U.S. local officials were advancing proposals to pilot the nation's first legally sanctioned safe, or supervised, injection site — a controversial intervention that supporters say is more effective in saving lives than promoting just abstinence. But the political momentum has since stalled, writes Alex Wittenberg. A federal judge cited "frayed nerves" around the novel virus in his decision to pause plans on a site in Philadelphia, and a related bill failed to advance in California after Covid-19 shortened the legislative session. Today on CityLab: Amid Spike in Opioid Overdoses, Momentum for Reform Wavers

-Linda Poon

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What we're reading

  • Is staying in staying safe? (New Yorker)
  • Undocumented with Covid-19: Many face a long recovery, largely on their own (NPR)
  • California's air conditioner-driven blackouts are only the start (Technology Review)
  • I saved lives as an incarcerated firefighter. To California, I was just cheap labor (Guardian)
  • The eco–yogi slumlords of Brooklyn (New York Magazine)
  • The full story behind the controversial Rose Garden redesign (Architectural Digest)


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