The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a sharp rise in drug overdoses due to increasing isolation, despair, and unstable supply of drugs. Monnat speaks to this issue in this VICE article and explains “At its core, I think addiction is about a need for connection. My research shows that work, family, and community are the three most important factors for understanding why drug overdose rates are higher in some places than others. Work, family, and community are the three arenas where we derive meaning and purpose from our lives. If we don’t have those connections, we might seek it out elsewhere, for example with drugs.” Since COVID-19 has made it difficult to connect with work, family, friends, and the community, it’s not surprising that people are using opioids to numb their pain.