As if the Coronavirus isn’t already worrisome enough, researchers suggest a higher vulnerability for drug users. Those who struggle with addiction may be at higher risk for complications and death upon contracting the virus. COVID-19 and addiction are truly not a good mix.
The Coronavirus wreaks havoc on the lungs. Those who smoke cigarettes, marijuana, and those who vape may have a harder time fighting off the virus.
But those who use drugs such as methamphetamine and opioids are also vulnerable during this pandemic.
Methamphetamine causes breathing problems. The constriction of blood vessels heightens the risk of heavy damage to the respiratory system. Users already face damage to their kidneys and livers as a result of methamphetamine use. Both long and short-term users will be in a vulnerable position.
Opioid users face even more complications due to the effects of slow breathing. Increasing the likelihood that if an opioid user contracts COVID-19 they will experience additional complications in terms of oxygen levels. With little to no oxygen coming to the brain, this could rapidly result in brain damage.
Should Drug Users Seek Help During This Time?
The short answer is yes. Drug users should seek help during this time. Addiction treatment centers all over the US have been rapidly adapting their programs. This includes adding numerous health and safety measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus. Fighting addiction and the coronavirus at the same time is not easy. It’s been described as fighting an epidemic in the middle of a pandemic. Addiction treatment centers must still save lives during this time.
Our Phoenix and Scottsdale facility staff have been working hard over the last few weeks to implement health and safety measures. Any and all staff that are able to work from home, are doing so. Telemedicine has been implemented across all groups, individual sessions, and visitations. We have implemented an initial quarantine for new patients. We have published several statements on Coronavirus. These statements can help you better understand our mission during this pandemic.
It’s important to remember that just like the COVID-19 pandemic is a life-or-death situation, addiction continues to be a life-or-death situation during the pandemic.