As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have ramifications in all areas of life across the length and breadth of the planet, one group of people who may come to suffer more so than others is those who have addiction disorders. Both those currently struggling to overcome drug abuse or alcohol abuse and those in recovery from such disorders may be particularly at risk to not only contracting Covid-19 but also may face more serious symptoms if the disease is contracted.
According to a wide array of sources, this is due to a combination of both physical factors as well as emotional and societal factors.
Why Covid-19 May Take A Harder Toll On An Addict’s Body
Recently, there has been a lot of warnings from institutions such as the CDC that those suffering from substance use disorders may be particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 in certain ways. The extent to which an addict may be particularly vulnerable is dependent on many factors, one of those being what type of addiction the person is suffering from or is in recovery/aftercare.
Covid-19 is thought to be especially dangerous for those who suffer from respiratory and pulmonary disorders, and there are many drugs that take their toll on these bodily systems. While smoking, in its variety of forms, is considered to have a negative effect on your respiratory health, those who take drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, and methamphetamines are thought to be particularly at risk.
This is due to the fact that a history of cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine use is often linked to pulmonary damage and pulmonary hypertension. Furthermore, those with opioid addiction should also be extremely wary of Covid-19 according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse — due to the chronic respiratory disease already being proven to increase overdose mortality in opioid users, something which contracting Covid-19 may cause.
The CDC also expressed a particular concern that health issues that affect the immune system such as HIV or Liver Disease are more common in those who abuse drugs (particularly intravenously) which could also, in turn, worsen the toll that Covid-19 takes on a person. However, it is not only the physiological factors that may prove problematic for substance use disorder sufferers during the Covid-19 pandemic, as there are also concerns about environmental and sociological factors that may put them at particular risk.
How Might Covid-19 Throw Up Additional Hurdles For Addiction Disorder Sufferers
Many lifestyle factors may put those battling substance abuse at risk during this challenging time. Those combating substance abuse are statistically more likely to face housing insecurity, increased risk of incarceration, and financial insecurity than other societal groups.
All of these factors may lead to such people finding it more difficult to get health care, and addicts who end up living on the street, in hostels, or with other addicts, all while being potentially more exposed to the elements, will be more at risk of infection from others as well as their bodies being in a less healthy condition to fight the disease in the first place.
The Prospect Of Self-Isolation Also Throws Up Its Own Problems For Both Those In Recovery and Those Seeking To Start A Recovery Plan
As lockdowns of varying severity across the world continue to affect everyone’s daily life, lockdowns, self-isolation guidelines, and general social distancing precautions have led to many institutions to warn of an increase in relapses from people who have overcome drug abuse and alcohol abuse. Many community-run group meeting for those in recovery have had to come to a halt, as well as some one-to-one therapy sessions. This has put a lot of stress on addicts and alcoholics in aftercare, recovery, or in treatment.
However, there are still certain group meeting sessions and therapy sessions which have moved online, with Zoom calls, Skype chats, and WhatsApp groups being set up between support groups to help keep people on their healthy lifestyle during this difficult time.
In fact, a spokesperson for Alcoholics Anonymous told the BBC that, in the UK alone, calls to their helpline had gone up by 22%, with use of its chat service increasing by a third since March of this year. Many health officials are still advocating for those both in recovery and looking to get healthy to reach out to institutions, such as Addiction Advocates, in order to try and get help in whatever form it can be found.
There is no shame in reaching out at this time, or at any other time. This can seem likely a particularly bleak time for all of us, but we will get through this, and you should not delay in reaching out for help if you feel like you need it — regardless of what your current situation.
Now Is Not The Time To Neglect Your Health, Both Physical And Mental!
The Covid-19 pandemic has massively impacted the mental health of people in all walks of life, and addiction can affect anyone. While officials across the globe are taking this time to send out messages articulating the importance of maintaining your physical health during this unsettling pandemic, the importance of maintaining positive mental health cannot be understated. These are stressful times, and for lots of us, stress can be a prominent factor when it comes to adopting unhealthy behaviours.
At Addiction Advocates, we are 100% dedicated to ensuring that our various services are available to everyone for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic. This has been managed by implementing procedures that ensure the health of our staff throughout the battle with coronavirus, which in turn will make sure that we can keep helping you.
If you’re worried about your drug use or your alcohol use at this time, then there is nothing that will stop us from offering you the best help that you need right now — all you need to do is call. Coronavirus can be particularly deadly to addicts, so let us help you beat this period and your addiction at the same time with our state-of-the-art therapy!