CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The opioid crisis has taken a back seat to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet overdose deaths from opioids continue to climb.

For more than a year now, the focus in the medical field has been on the COVID-19 pandemic and the time, money, and resources that normally would be used on the opioid epidemic have been devoted to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Social distancing forced individuals who needed help into isolation. Anxiety and stress have led to increased substance use and even suicide. Local law enforcement and medical professionals are seeing the results.

The 22News I-Team looks into the current impact of the opioid crisis in western Massachusetts, and what’s being done to help those fighting opioid addiction.

Watch 22News I-Team reporter Mike Masciadrelli’s report on the continuing opioid crisis in our region, Thursday on 22News at 6pm.