According to a recent analysis conducted by experts in Ohio, the state’s record number of opioid-related deaths corresponded with the distribution of stimulus checks.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Institute for the Future of Forensic Science performed the research, which used data from the Ohio Department of Health to find that the sharp spike in mortality began after the first stimulus checks were distributed.
Stimulus Checks Tied To Overdose Spike
According to a news release from Ohio AG Dave Yost, the state had more opioid-related fatalities in the second quarter of 2020 than it has since 2010.
According to the CDCP, over 100,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose between April 2020 and April 2021, a 28% rise over the previous year. This was the highest number of opioid-related fatalities documented since the CDC began recording statistics on the opioid crisis in 1999.
Data also revealed a rise in fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine-related overdose fatalities.
The rate of opioid-related mortality increased dramatically after the first 16 weeks of 2020. A further in-depth examination revealed that more than 203 fatalities occurred weekly between weeks 17 and 32 of 2020. The first stimulus check was distributed in April 2020.
According to the researchers, the onset of the worldwide pandemic, along with the opioid epidemic, produced a “perfect storm” for those with opioid use disorder and those who are more vulnerable to the stresses induced by COVID-19.
Social isolation, loss of home or money, and a lack of harm-reduction techniques and medicines were among the stresses. Researchers revealed that the socioeconomic category most vulnerable to a drug overdose was low-income, middle-aged white men.
The “check effect” is a term that has been around for over a decade and refers to those who use disability benefits or government subsidies to buy illicit substances or alcohol.