The Coronavirus (otherwise known as COVID-19) is a pandemic that is taking the world by storm. Days go by and there seems to be no end in sight; this disease is claiming the lives of thousands throughout the world. This strikes panic into the hearts of many who wonder whether or not the Coronavirus will come for them next.
Throughout the world, state and local governments have enforced regulations on social gatherings of any kind. The only caveat is that people are allowed to leave their homes for exercise or necessities like groceries. These regulations leave those who suffer from substance abuse wondering whether or not they can even attend treatment, although some may not understand just how serious all of this is.
What is the Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a disease that damages the respiratory system. It was first exposed in Wuhan, China and claimed over 50,000 lives. The symptoms of Coronavirus are as follows:
- Loss of taste
- Loss of smell
- Extreme difficulty breathing
When someone is infected with the Coronavirus, they either experience these symptoms or are asymptomatic, which means they aren’t exhibiting symptoms of having contracted the virus. It’s no secret that this disease has been fatal in the case of many; in addition to this, many of those who have contracted the disease have been hospitalized.
What is the Correlation Between COVID-19 and Addiction?
Addiction isn’t a symptom of the Coronavirus, but this disease does have an impact on addiction. Not only does the disease increase the chances of relapsing or becoming addicted, but the way that everyone’s lives have had to adjust also has a lot to do with becoming addicted or relapsing.
The state and government regulations that are in place to prevent further contamination have had a large impact on many who suffer from substance abuse. For some, it has squashed the opportunity to apprehend drugs or alcohol. Bars being closed has prevented many from getting drunk, and the social distancing regulations/quarantine have limited the interaction between buyers and sellers. While this perspective is encouraging, it should not be mistaken for treatment. In fact, it’s far from it.
Although some environments limit some drug use, others may encourage the use of drugs and alcohol. Being alone with nothing to do besides work or exercise is difficult not only when dealing with addiction but in general as well. This disease has not only claimed the lives of many, but it has also had a large impact on the mental health of many. Some may use alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with their depression or anxiety, and others may become addicted simply because there is not much else to do.
How Could Addiction Worsen the Spread of the Coronavirus?
At first glance, someone may not think that there is a correlation between the Coronavirus and substance abuse. This, however, is far from the truth. Many who suffer from addiction have been pushing the envelope when it comes to spreading this disease. This is because when someone is using particular substances, their judgment diminishes. This leads to a plethora of poor decisions being made. That being said, those whose judgment may be impaired from substance abuse may not take social distancing or any other regulation as seriously as they should.
Is it Likely That I’ll Have the Coronavirus?
Whether or not someone, in particular, will be infected with the Coronavirus is largely unknown; when it comes to a disease as widespread as COVID-19, nobody is safe. However, it is worth mentioning that some are more likely to contract the disease. For example, in China and Italy, more men are infected with Coronavirus than there are women.
While men are more so at risk for hospitalization and fatality, women are infected at equal rates. The reason that men are more so at the risk of suffering a fatality than women is because more men smoke regularly in these countries than women do. This makes sense when because coronavirus is a respiratory disease, and smoking increases the chance of respiratory failure.
It is also worth mentioning that shooting drugs is not safer. Substances such as heroin and opioids have been known to destroy pulmonary functions and being that the Coronavirus is a respiratory disease, this makes those who use these methods more vulnerable to the more detrimental effects of the virus.
Why Should I Still Go to Treatment?
The time is now to start treatment, and if you have been participating in treatment, you must press on. Substance abuse treatment centers, therapy and psychiatry offices are considered essential. That being said, these strict regulations that confine people to their homes don’t pertain to them.
Due in large part to the fact that substance abuse weakens the immune system, those who suffer from addiction are at a higher risk of contracting the Coronavirus. Not only this but if those who have been attending treatment suddenly stop going because of this pandemic, the impact on their health could prove detrimental. If someone is detoxing in treatment and they stop doing so under the watchful eye of a health care professional, the chance of experiencing extreme withdrawal symptoms increases. Withdrawal has sometimes been known to prove itself fatal in the case of those trying to quit cold turkey.
Why Treatment is Important
Recovering from substance abuse is important; it not only preserves the lives of those who are addicted, but it also does so for those who love them. Regardless of how the Coronavirus is spreading, treatment must be continued. Our facilities are equipped to handle the containment of this virus, and we are committed to providing the best-individualized treatment available so that their needs are met.
COVID-19 is sending many people into a state of perpetual anxiety, and many people are wondering what their next steps should be. This panic is not exaggerated. It is important to remember that this is a real disease claiming the lives of real individuals. These individuals have families and loved ones. Some people are losing their jobs and freedom, and this is dissolving their quality of life. If people don’t take this seriously, and if those who need to be treated for addiction don’t continue to do so, it could very well prolong this time of uncertainty.
Some people may think that they are better off staying in their homes and going with the flow, but in all reality, they’re better off attending rehab. Many treatment centers throughout the United States are prepared for any circumstance surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, no matter who walks through the doors of their treatment facilities. Many rehab centers test their patients regularly to monitor the situation and potential hazards. With the government regulations and laws concerning social distancing, treatment centers are formatting their routines to fall within these guidelines.
Where Do I Go for Treatment?
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has shut many organizations down and lessened the hours of other places of business. With all the chaos, it’s hard to know what businesses are essential and which businesses have to close down. Substance abuse treatment is considered an essential business. That being said, treatment facilities can stay open. Those who suffer from drug and alcohol abuse are at a higher risk of fatality than they are contracting the virus. For that reason, attending treatment must be considered a necessity.
At The Freedom Center, we are committed to preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. We have a staff of professionally trained medical personnel who are equipped to handle treatment both substance abuse and the coronavirus should somebody contract it.
Should I Just Stay Home?
Staying at home in isolation from others who may be infected with the Coronavirus may seem like the noble thing to do, but in all honesty, if you are suffering from addiction, you’re putting yourself and others at risk. Doing one’s part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 goes beyond simply staying home; going to treatment will help those who are at risk of getting the virus and yourself safe, while also recovering from your addiction.
Isolation does bad things to those with poor mental health. Developing even worse mental health has the potential to worsen someone’s addiction. The two may even feed off of each other, developing even more severe forms of depression or anxiety. Being alone in a house by yourself all day every day increases the risk of suffering from severe mental illness, thus contributing even more to one’s addiction.
The Freedom Center is There for You
Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, it is natural to want to put the most important things on hold. This includes recovery from addiction. Compared to the virus, substance abuse may seem like a much smaller issue, but it has the potential to maximize the negative impact that COVID-19 is having on the world. If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction and would like to know what your options are amid this pandemic, you can contact us here.