For most people, the stress and uncertainty that has underscored the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult to bear. Daily life and simple tasks suddenly became dangerous undertakings, forcing people to fear leaving their own homes for basic necessities like food and cleaning supplies.
Interacting with friends and loved ones has been discouraged, shops and restaurants have been closed, and many individuals lost their employment due to mandatory furloughs. The pandemic and social distancing mandates have wreaked havoc on us all, damaging our mental health and leaving us craving for some semblance of normalcy.
But one group the virus has impacted more so than others is people struggling with addiction. If this is you, the pandemic has forced you into isolation, creating a scenario where your stress is significantly intensified, your social supports are removed, and you’re stuck with few options to help you stay away from alcohol or drugs.
While states across the nation have started to ease social distancing restrictions, understanding how the virus impacts those struggling with addiction is important to help you prepare for any future problems you may face.
The Impact of COVID-19 in California
Depending on which county you reside in, the actual impact of COVID-19 varies. A majority of the pandemic’s impact has been felt in southern areas of the state, like Los Angeles and Riverside, while the northern sections of the state have seen little to no disease spread.
Overall, the state has been one of the more intensely impacted areas with over 147,000 confirmed cases and nearly 5,000 deaths. This has been attributed to the number of people living in certain areas of the state.1
Are People Struggling with Addiction at Risk of Contracting COVID-19?
Unfortunately, someone struggling with addiction is more susceptible to catching a disease like COVID-19 for a number of reasons.
From interacting with unsavory individuals in order to buy drugs to frequenting dirty locations that support consistent drug use, exposing yourself to unsanitary scenarios greatly increases the potential to contract the virus.
In addition, the manner in which COVID-19 attacks the lungs and heart creates a dangerous situation for people struggling with substance abuse who already deal with physical ailments associated with their history of substance addiction.
Common physical issues associated with sustained drug addiction include:
• Cardiovascular issues – Researchers have found that most drugs can have adverse cardiovascular effects, ranging from abnormal heart rate to heart attack. Injection drug use can also lead to cardiovascular problems such as collapsed veins and bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves.
• Respiratory issues – Drug use can lead to a variety of respiratory problems. Smoking cigarettes, for example, has been shown to cause bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer. Marijuana smoke can also cause respiratory problems, including chronic bronchitis, and smoking crack cocaine can lead to lung damage and severe respiratory problems.
The use of some drugs, such as opioids, may cause breathing to slow, block air from entering the lungs, or make asthma symptoms worse.
• Kidney and Liver issues – Some drugs may cause kidney damage or failure, either directly or indirectly, from dehydration, dangerous increases in body temperature and muscle breakdown.
Additionally, chronic use of some drugs, such as heroin, inhalants, and steroids (appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs), may lead to significant damage to the liver. This damage can be worse when these drugs are combined with alcohol or other drugs.2
Since underlying issues related to cardiovascular disease, lung disease, kidney disease and liver disease have been shown to significantly increase the risk associated with COVID-19, it goes without saying that people struggling with substance addiction are placing themselves at a greater risk for COVID-related health complications.
Why You Should Go to Rehab Despite COVID-19
Making the brave choice to face your addiction by entering into a clinically qualified treatment facility is the best decision you can make. Certified and licensed treatment programs are taking all the necessary steps to provide safe and sanitary treatment interventions in sterile environments, ensuring that those who enter into their facility are protected from external issues.
The fact of the matter is that, while COVID-19 is a serious illness, substance addiction is a deadly disease if not properly treated. And since substance abuse puts an incredible strain on your body and weakens your immune system, you may be at higher risk of contracting the virus. Being at an addiction treatment center, like Ranch Creek Recovery, that is more than prepared to keep its clients safe, is the very best place you can be right now to rebuild your health and avoid the virus.
Start Your Recovery Today at Ranch Creek Recovery
As an essential healthcare provider committed to helping people overcome addiction, we remain
open during COVID-19. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we are steadfast in ensuring our facility delivers health and safety for all our clients and staff members. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely, taking precautions, and following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Beyond that, we are taking additional measures within our own treatment facility. If you would like to
know more about how we’re operating during the coronavirus pandemic, please read our response
here. Contact us today to get your questions answered and find out how you can start the admissions process.