Because of the inappropriate stigma around drug dependency, users facing the COVID-19 crisis are in a uniquely dangerous position. There is a smorgasbord of inconsistent messaging around the topic. Users are not to use drugs alone…yet social isolation is required. Stress increases changes of drug abuse…and this is one the most collectively stressful times we have faced in our lives. Drug abusers are told to seek help…and yet, as humans like everyone else, they do not want to overload the healthcare system when others are at risk.
Moreover, unemployment or underemployment are problems defining the current epidemic: the unemployment rate is viciously high. Unemployment contributes to lowered feelings of self-worth and increased anxiety. These are both factors that lead those prone to substance abuse disorders to abuse drugs and alcohol.
In a frightening turn of events, 13.3 percent of respondents to a recent CDC survey report increased drug or alcohol abuse to cope with the psychological effects of the pandemic. Additionally, the use of drugs (cocaine and opioids in particular) weakens the body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus and makes users more susceptible to long-term or potentially fatal complications than non-users. In short, COVID-19 is a perfect storm for those at risk of developing a drug abuse disorder or relapsing into a prior pattern of drug abuse.
That being said, there are options for those at risk: self-assessment, reaching out to family and friends and taking precautions before using drugs. More importantly, one should know that, despite the larger public health situation, situations involving drugs and alcohol are life and death. Help is available, no matter what the larger circumstance may be.
Just because we are isolated does not mean we are alone. Just because we’re down doesn’t mean that we are out. At CRC, we understand the complex circumstances that this epidemic has forced upon us. We know how challenging the cycle of drug abuse can be during hard times. Our entire reason for being is to help those who believe that hope is lost. If this pandemic has done anything, it’s given us the misguided idea that all hope is lost. Hear us when we say: all hope is not lost. Brighter days are ahead. We can help you heal and live better.
Please get in touch with us. We have COVID-19 resistant protocols to treatment that will put you or your loved ones on a path to overcoming this difficult time.