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COVID-19 hurting efforts to combat overdose deaths; Knox Co. DA looks to community for help

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KNOX COUNTY, Tenn — August 31 is Overdose Awareness Day, and Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen presented a report Monday in hopes of bringing awareness to recent trends and efforts to try and curb the number of overdoses locally.

So far in 2020, 218 people in Knox County have died to suspected overdose. That's much higher than at this point in 2019, when the number of suspected overdoses sat at 170 at the end of August.

U.S. Sees Deadly Drug Overdose Spike During Pandemic

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New data from around the U.S. confirms that drug overdoses are spiking during the coronavirus pandemic, rising by roughly 18%.

Reports collected in real time by the Washington, D.C.-based group ODMAP — the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, located at the University of Baltimore — also found a significant spike in the number of fatal overdoses.

"Overdose clusters have shifted from traditional centralized urban locations to adjacent and surrounding suburban and rural areas," said ODMAP program manager Aliese Alter.

Staying Positive During a Pandemic

It's not easy but it can be done

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In these unprecedented times it's very easy to be sucked down into the vortex of darkness that lurks within the human mind. When we are threatened with bodily harm or death there is a primal survival instinct, as ancient as the human species itself, that kicks in whether we realize it or not. Witness the irrational hoarding of toilet paper in the United States as a clear example of the mass psychosis brought on by life-altering events.

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