Substance Abuse & COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis is impacting people with substance use disorders on many fronts. Uncertainty is all around us, from the economy and our finances to our general health. The physical and emotional toll of the pandemic is especially difficult for people who struggle with addiction. With San Diego drug and alcohol treatment, you can get on the road to recovery. Before you start treatment, it’s important to remember the risks substance abuse carries during this time.
Risks for People with Substance Abuse
People with underlying health issues are most at risk of COVID-19 complications. Chronic drug and alcohol use can weaken the immune system, making a person more susceptible to the virus. Here is a look at other risks by drug type:
- Alcohol: If you are dependent on alcohol and access to it is limited, alcohol withdrawal can create a range of problems, if it does not prove fatal on its own.
- Smoking/Vaping: Smoking causes lung inflammation and damage that compromises the respiratory system, which is attacked directly by the coronavirus. Vaping exposes the lungs to aerosols that harm lung tissue and inhibit infection response.
- Opioids: High doses of opioids can slow breathing and, therefore, decrease oxygen levels in the blood, which increases the risk of overdose. This can also create problems for someone with COVID-19.
- Methamphetamines: With methamphetamine use, blood vessels constrict, so not only are you at risk of hypertension, but also damage to the pulmonary system.
- Cocaine: Cocaine can cause the brain to constrict the vascular system, possibly leading to swelling, bronchitis, hemorrhages, asthma, and a range of other respiratory problems.
Challenges of Staying Sober
The stress associated with the coronavirus pandemic is leaving many drug/alcohol users vulnerable. Drug- and alcohol-seeking behavior can put people at risk as they venture outside when stay-at-home orders are in place. Decreased access to overtaxed healthcare resources, or fear of exposure to the virus by seeking treatment, can put one at risk as well. Addiction also puts people at risk of homelessness and incarceration—situations in which exposure to coronavirus is high.
In general, staying sober during the pandemic is difficult because of:
- Mental health
- Social isolation
The Importance of a Support System
Unemployment; economic decline; and financial, relationship, physical, and mental stress reduce the security humans crave. During this time, strengthening your support system is essential. It enables you to stay connected with loved ones and develop coping skills for addiction. Even if you have to use video chat, you can still talk with friends, family members, and sponsors who can motivate you to stay sober. Virtual therapy and support groups are available as well.
Does Substance Abuse Affect You or a Loved One?
Our addiction rehab specialists can help with recovery from alcohol or drug abuse. One of the leading rehab centers in San Diego, Apex Recovery offers a dual diagnosis drug and alcohol treatment program and five levels of care, including inpatient and outpatient support. We are open and accepting new admissions during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you’re searching for San Diego Addiction Treatment near me, you’ll be directed to Apex Recovery. To learn more about our services and get help for yourself or a loved one, call 877-798-4404 today.