Drug Overdoses, Coronavirus and Bringing in 2022…

Green light 2022

Last year as we rounded the corner coming out of 2020, we all were hoping for a better and brighter 2021. Little did we know that 2021 would be a continuation of 2020 and actually worse for some. The coronavirus pandemic isn’t the only pandemic that has continued, the drug epidemic has continued and only gotten worse in recent years.

According to a compilation put together by Families Against Fentanyl, using statistics provided by the CDC, fentanyl is now the number one cause of death for persons between the ages of 18 and 45.

Alcohol can now be delivered to your door, along with marijuana.

In Oklahoma, my home state and deep in the middle of the Bible belt, medical marijuana became legal three years ago and now Oklahoma has surpassed Colorado for medical marijuana patients per capita and has 7 times the number of growers. Oklahoma is now known as the “Wild West of Weed.”

Drug overdose and drug-related deaths have long been an issue. This is not new news. That accidental drug poisonings are now the leading cause of death in the United States for adults aged 18 to 45 is new news, and it’s not good news.

A press release issued by the CDC on Nov 17, 2021 stated that there were an estimated 100,306 overdose deaths during a 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 from the prior year during that same time frame. The press release states the primary increase was with the synthetic opioid fentanyl but overdose deaths are up across the board and include methamphetamine and cocaine.

Substance abuse and an addictive lifestyle lead to introversion, isolation, and loneliness. Separation and being isolated from others exacerbate the loneliness and lead to more substance abuse.

Woman drinks at home

Thus the phrase “A pandemic within a pandemic” was coined and predicted by many other substance abuse counselors and interventionists. A classic case of the cure being worse than the disease. More and more people became dependent upon substances, while churches and other well-meaning spiritual or self-improvement type groups, programs and drug treatments became more difficult to attend, some even prohibited from gathering.

I know my job as a drug and alcohol interventionist became much more difficult for sure. Some facilities require me to perform a Covid test prior to bringing the addict to their facility. I understand, but also I’m very concerned about what I will do if, in fact, I run across someone who is positive for Covid. I’ve yet to have this problem but it is a growing concern. Addicts are looking for a reason not to enter treatment and have concerns about Covid due to the actual or potential exposure to the coronavirus when, in fact, a treatment facility is the safest place you could be. Substance abuse treatment facilities have very strict sanitation protocols. Yet, we are giving addicts yet another excuse not to enter treatment. This is an active drug user doing who knows what, with who knows who, and suddenly they have concerns about the coronavirus.

Addiction help

Sounds kind of ridiculous, but it’s true, and it happens. Even though the recovery rate of Covid 19 falls somewhere between 97–99.75% according to the CDC, those who are addicted are more susceptible to having more ill-fated outcomes than a healthy person. A substance abuser is far more likely to get severely ill from Covid.

As we start the new year looking over our shoulders at 2021 and ahead to 2022, if you or a loved one have concerns about an addiction problem, the best thing to do is to enter a drug treatment facility. Considering the toxic assault drugs and alcohol have on our bodies that weaken the immune system, replenishing the nutritional deficiencies caused by substance abuse and restoring the immune system are a great way to not only handle drug addiction, but also greatly reduce the chances of contracting Covid.

This can all be avoided. Let’s start the New Year out by making a decision to change your life forever. A New Year and a New Life all start by making the decision to do so. You can predict the future by making decisions about it, you can create your future by taking action on those decisions. A decision is truly made when both action and results follow.


If you or a loved one need help or guidance with substance abuse, you can reach out to Narconon Ojai, they help families and save lives.

Robert “Bobby” Newman CPS, ICDAC, CIP
Newman Intervention Services



Bobby Newman, CIP, ICPS, ICDAC

Robert “Bobby“ Newman is an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Certified Prevention Specialist, and Certified Intervention Professional who has helped thousands of people into and through rehabilitation. After going from a strong, moral upbringing in Southern Oklahoma to a drug-related downfall that had him facing federal prison, he understands what those who are addicted feel and think. That’s what enables him to cut through the resistance and manipulative tactics of addiction and help the individual choose life and recovery.