Overdose deaths on the rise in Franklin County, local yoga program aims to help


COLUMBUS – The Franklin County coroner reported late last week that the county is seeing a rise in overdose deaths.

But despite the rise in overdose deaths, there has not been an increase in ER visits or EMS runs due to overdose here in Franklin County, according to Dr. Mysheika Roberts.

That difference in numbers concerns Dr. Roberts, who told 10TV this is likely because people are staying home, social distancing, and may not have someone nearby to administer Naloxone or call 9-1-1.

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Social distancing protects Ohioans from the spread of COVID-19 but it can also create feelings of isolation and loneliness.

For people battling addiction or who are in recovery, those feelings can pose a serious threat.

“It increases their anxiety and it can make dealing with the disease of addiction that much more challenging,” Dr. Roberts said.

Health experts agree that a key component to addiction recovery is connection with others, which can be harder to come by during the coronavirus pandemic, with social distancing orders in place.

“it's important for individuals who are dealing with the disease of addiction to have some outlet, some therapy, some connection with individuals, even though it might not be in person, but some social connection with other people to help them deal with their disease of addiction,” Dr. Roberts said.

The Trini Foundation is a charity that works with yoga studios around the country, raising money to help people in recovery find that community.

10TV talked with executive director Taylor Hunt last year about how beneficial yoga can be for someone battling addiction.

That value may hold weight now, more than ever, he told 10TV in a recent interview.

“It’s important right now, maybe even more so than during normal times, just because we need to get moving, we need to get off our couch, we need to establish discipline, we need to establish a routine, even though we have to stay home,” Hunt said.

Dr. Roberts commented on the health benefits yoga brings to those battling addiction.

“We know that yoga in general helps increase your mood and reduce anxiety and so we need those mood boosters and anxiety reducers even more during this difficult time and so by providing this service virtually or online for individuals, it gives them access to them even though they are practicing social distancing,” she said.

It's why many yoga instructors are teaching online right now, connecting with those people who need it most.

“There are resources and you know, you don’t have to relapse,” Hunt said. “You know, there are people that can help you still, even though we’re staying at home.”

For more information on the Trini Foundation, click here.

For more resources from Columbus Public Health for those battling addiction or those with loved ones facing the disease of addiction, click here.