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Addiction advocates stress that COVID-19 shifted the burden of the opioid epidemic to African-American communities.
The death rate spiked right after the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Researchers believe that lack of economic opportunity drives an increase in opioid use among local residents.
Opioid use disorder is fueling a rise in youth hepatitis C cases and a stabilization of a long decline in HIV among people who use drugs.
Experts are not certain what this latest trend signifies for the trajectory of the opioid use disorder epidemic, however.
An analysis of newly diagnosed youths in California found they had limited access to opioid-related harm reduction services.
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