Drug overdoses and mental health concerns grow as pandemic drags on

Numbers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that drug use is again on the rise since the start of the pandemic.

Drug overdoses are up between 30 and 40 percent, the institute says. Experts say they're seeing more relapses than usual and a high number of young people turning to drugs during the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions. Klobuchar says that since the pandemic started the need for addiction and mental health resources has skyrocketed.

Her bill would send funds to treatment centers that would give them capital to expand treatment centers. Experts say the fear of coronavirus and economic hardship and isolation from lockdowns has created an explosion of individuals seeking treatment.

Adding to the problem, amid coronavirus concerns, many rehab centers are seeing fewer patients.

"My hope is that, as we go forward, not just with this election time but into next year, that this pandemic has put a big fat magnifying glass on this problem," explained Sen. Klobuchar. "So, we will take some different approaches and realize how important it is going forward."

Another obstacle, health leaders say, is the length of time to get test results. Results can take days to come back and in that time someone in need of treatment might end up changing their mind. They would like to seek rapid test result made available to treatment centers.