Substance abusers are more at risk of contracting COVID-19 and suffering serious complications. What’s frightening is that most of them do not know this, which could lead to them not taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves. The following are just some of the ways COVID-19 affects substance abusers.
How COVID-19 Affects Substance Abusers
COVID-19 is a virus that affects people’s respiratory systems. Those who have weakened respiratory systems are more at risk of suffering from serious complications from the coronavirus.
Most people who suffer from nicotine addiction have poor lung health. They are also more likely to suffer from other respiratory system conditions, such as COPD. If these people contract COVID-19, they can expect to experience more severe symptoms and may even need hospitalization for medical treatment.
Opioids slow breathing and decrease oxygen in the blood, which can lead to chronic respiratory disease. This is actually what causes the increase in overdose mortality for those who use opioids. COVID-19 diminishes lung capacity and on top of the already stressed respiratory system of opioid users, the effects could be life-threatening.
If methamphetamine users contract COVID-19, they need to be watched carefully. The drug constricts blood vessels and that can contribute to pulmonary damage and hypertension. These conditions can be exacerbated in those with the virus.
Other Concerns for Substance Abusers
Besides the health concerns that come along with people who are infected with COVID-19 and abuse drugs and alcohol, there are limitations in resources that can cause issues. With medical facilities quickly becoming full with people suffering from the virus, those with other medical conditions are being pushed to the side. The resources are simply not available to take care of everyone. Unfortunately, this means that substance abusers who are either suffering from serious medical conditions or overdosing may not get the emergency care they need to survive.
What’s even worse is that COVID-19 has caused a lot of stress for people. Not only are people scared of contracting the virus, but they are also worried about what the pandemic will do to their jobs. Businesses are being made to close and people are being sent home, so financial hardships are on the horizon. The more people suffer, the more they turn to substances to cope.
Getting Help During COVID-19
While medical facilities may be busy with patients suffering from the virus and other medical conditions, rehab centers are still focused on helping people recover from their addiction. If you’re suffering from substance abuse, this is the time to take control and do something about it. Not only will you be able to recover from the addiction, but you’ll also improve your health and protect yourself from the effects of the coronavirus.
Use this crisis as a time to reflect on your health and take steps to improve it. Consider recovering from your addiction by going to a rehab center for help.