Right now is a scary time for most of us. Coronavirus is spreading and the uncertainty is frightening. If you are struggling with addiction and/or mental health issues yet have fears about entering rehab during this time, we are here to help you. Here is more about coronavirus and addiction – what you need to know and how you can get the help you need.
What is Coronavirus?
According to WHO (the World Health Organization):
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The latest version of coronavirus was first found in Wuhan, China and traced to a live animal market in that area. Since then, it has spread on a global scale, including to the United States.
Nationwide, the CDC has reported over 21K cases, with that number growing. Of those reported cases, 260 people have died, with 83 of those deaths in Washington state, 46 in New York, 24 in California, 14 deaths each in Georgia and Louisiana, 11 each in Florida and New Jersey, and fewer deaths in several other states.
Researchers studying the new virus have discovered that certain demographics are at greater risk for coronavirus. These include the elderly, children, those with autoimmune diseases, and those who have other illnesses.
Should You Enter Rehab at This Time?
While this is a time when everything is uncertain, it is not the time to let your health suffer when it comes to substance abuse or mental health treatment. In fact, the risk of drug overdose and alcohol poisoning far outweigh the number of cases of coronavirus.
According to the CDC, opioid overdoses alone continue to claim over 100 lives in America every day and when it comes to alcohol, almost 90K people die each year from alcohol-related causes.
COVID-19 and Drug Abuse
Those who have compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to this virus. And since this is a virus that affects the respiratory system, those who smoke are at risk. This includes those who smoke cigarettes, marijuana, and other drugs that can be ingested via smoking. In fact, in China, there are studies being done comparing those who got the virus. Men make up more of the population and several experts believe it may be because more men smoke in China than women.
Any type of inhalation of hot smoke can be damaging in different ways. There is also the issue of sharing pipes, bongs, and other marijuana paraphernalia that puts the person at risk due to the transfer of saliva and germs.
As for those who use illicit drugs, there are studies that show that this can lower the immune system. This includes drugs like hallucinogens, meth, heroin, and cocaine. Along with minimizing pathophysiological and neuropsychological responses, it also affects immune functions. And those who use these types of drugs are at risk if they participate in unprotected sex or share needles. This is because there is a greater chance of sharing infectious pathogens, or at the very least, increasing exposure. This obviously includes coronavirus.
Prescription Medication Shortages
One of the secondary problems with coronavirus is that there is a shortage of prescription medication. This is due in part to the fact that about 90% of active ingredients used by American drug manufacturers originate in China. Now combine that with those who are stocking up because of not knowing what might happen and you have a shorter supply.
Some of those who are in recovery from substance abuse and alcohol abuse depend on medications that aid them in their sobriety or in helping minimize withdrawal symptoms. Those people should stock up if they can so that they are not without. This includes being without due to shortages or for those who cannot leave their residence due to coronavirus worries or lock-downs in their state. Of course, essential businesses are open and that includes pharmacies but it is still a good idea to have enough in case there is a problem.
How to Avoid Coronavirus
This particular virus is transmitted to others via bodily fluids and respiratory droplets. In order to stop the spread of transmission as best as you can, you should do the following:
- Avoid incessantly touching your face and this especially includes your nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands as often as possible and this should be done for at least 20 seconds. Some people sing
- Happy Birthday or something similar so they know how much time has passed.
- Clean and disinfect the things around you as much as possible, especially if you have been around others.
- An alcohol-based hand sanitizer may help if you cannot wash your hands. It is not as effective as regular soap and water but it will at least help a little.
- Avoid being around others with signs of a respiratory illness such as coughing. This does not mean everyone who coughs had the virus; some people have allergies or other reasons. But since people should be practicing self-isolation measures anyway, this is an extra precaution if you simply have to be out to the doctor or to get groceries. Or for those who work at essential jobs.
- Thoroughly cook your eggs and meat.
- Practice safety around others by covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
We Are Here for You
We realize that substance abuse and alcohol abuse can affect your health. Someone who has a weaker immune system due to either may be more at risk for coronavirus. If you have substance abuse and/or mental health issues, it is important to get help and this addiction treatment may help mitigate some of your risks for COVID-19. We offer treatment options to fit your needs. If you or someone you love has addiction issues, contact us so we can help with recovery.
We are taking extreme precautionary measures to ensure our clients’ safety as well as ensuring their comfort and concerns are continuously managed during this time. For updates on our facilities and precautions, click HERE.