As the world contends with the effects of Covid 19, researchers need to pay attention to the impact of the disease on substance and drug users. As we are all aware, Covid 19 attacks the lungs, and people who smoke marijuana, tobacco, or use opioids may have a higher likelihood of severe disease. Nonetheless, Covid 19 has multiple potential implications on substance users, these are:
Higher risk of infection
Covid 19 affects everyone, both young and old. However, it’s prevalent in people with other underlying conditions like diabetes, HIV, high blood pressure, respiratory disorders, and more. It’s worth noting that substance users have a compromised lung function and may suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This could then put substance users at high risk for Covid 19 infection.
Decreased access to medical services
Substance users have limited access to health facilities, hence a greater risk for infections. Moreover, with doctors and hospitals overwhelmed with the high numbers of patients, substance users face some barriers while seeking treatment. And many abandon treatment due to self-quarantine and other social distancing regulations. However, seeking residential rehabilitation treatment can help resolve the issue and ease access to addiction support and medications.
Covid 19 ah led to disruption in treatment for substance users. This includes loss of one–on–one treatment options in rehabilitation centres, appointments, or getting opioid refills for substance use disorder. Moreover, substance users are also unlikely to access other support services like therapy sessions due to the Covid 19 restrictions.
Homelessness & Incarnation
The Covid 19 pandemic rendered most people jobless and unable to pay their bills. Substance users and people with substance disorders have a high likelihood of incarnation and homelessness. Such an environment exposes them to close contact with others and a higher risk of infection.
Moreover, travel restrictions may hinder many from accessing safe syringes and vaping devices. And this can lead to sharing, which poses a risk of transmitting many other diseases amongst themselves.
Intensified drug abuse
The social and psychological risks of Covid 9 can favor drug abuse. The measures used to curb the spread of the virus like quarantine and isolation can lead to negative emotions, boredom, fear, sadness, irritability, and anger. Such conditions can trigger relapses in recovering patients and increase the consumption of drugs and alcohol.
What’s more? Withdrawal symptoms associated with the inability to access the drugs may jeopardize the preventive measures. This forces many substance users to move around in search of drugs, thus exposing themselves to the risks of Covid 19.
What are the benefits of inpatient rehabilitation treatment for substance users during Covid 19 times?
Inpatient drug addiction treatment comes with numerous benefits, especially during this Covid 19 period. Addicts can be sure of a safe home with no need to move around seeking addiction and other support services.
Inpatient addiction treatment also helps minimize the risk of relapses, allowing patients can access medication and other support services with ease. What’s more? Patients don’t miss appointments, unlike the case of outpatient services. Instead, they access all the support services under one roof.
During this Covid 19 era, doctors should reinforce drug addiction care. This avoids the complications associated with substance abuse and Covid 19 as well. Prompt care for substance users during such a period will help reduce the transmission rates, prevent relapses and promote healthier lives among substance users.