ER Visits for Overdoses and Suicide Attempts Rose During Pandemic

    Emergency room visits for drug overdoses and suicide attempts increased during the pandemic, while access to behavioral health treatment decreased, according to a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

    ERs reported a 36% jump in overdose visits and a 26% increase in visits for suicide attempts between April 2020 and February 2021, compared with the same period the previous year.

    The study also found 27% more adults in the United States reported symptoms of anxiety or depression during that period, according to CBS News.

    In a February 2021 survey of its members, the National Council for Behavioral Health found that in the three months preceding the survey, about two-thirds of the member organizations surveyed reported demand for their services was increasing, while they had to cancel or reschedule patient appointments or turn patients away. The survey found 27% of member organizations reported laying off employees, 45% reported closing some programs and 35% decreased the hours for staff.

    By Partnership Staff
    May 2021

    Published

    May 2021