By now, everyone has heard about COVID-19, the coronavirus currently sweeping the world. Because it’s extremely contagious, COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire, spreading to more than 70 nations, infecting millions significantly quickly. Furthermore, with symptoms appearing within 2-14 days after exposure, there are many more cases that have yet to be reported. This virus has a reputation of severely affecting the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath with more severe cases causing pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and fatal kidney failure.
With much of the world paralyzed by fear induced by the coronavirus, you might be considering delaying treatment for a substance abuse disorder until the virus subsides. While this may seem like a valid concern and a possible reason to avoid treatment with uncertain times, understanding your risks by delaying treatment may provide you with more clarity on making the best possible decision when it comes to your sobriety. Furthermore, despite your attempts to possibly avoid contracting this disease by isolating, another question to ask yourself is: is avoiding treatment all together truly the best option when it comes to my health and safety? By answering this question, you will know what risks you are up against by avoiding treatment at this time, so that you can make the best, informed decision for your future.
While it may be tempting to delay seeking treatment for a substance abuse disorder during the coronavirus outbreak, it may benefit you to know why delaying treatment could provide more risk than good. First of all, it is important to acknowledge that the risks associated with alcohol poisoning and drug overdose far outweigh the risks involved with contracting the coronavirus. In fact, opioid overdoses claim over 100 lives per day while alcohol remains one of the top killers of Americans per year. Therefore, if you are struggling with an addiction, it is imperative that you do not avoid seeking treatment because of a virus that has a less fatality rate than your addiction.
Furthermore, understand that a majority of inpatient/outpatient drug facilities are keeping up with high-standards set to ensure your safety upon entering their facility. Disinfectant policies and keeping residents safe are their highest priorities during this time. They don’t want the fear of contracting such a virus to keep you from seeking the help you need and deserve. Furthermore, walking on the path of sobriety while the news is blaring horror stories in your ear can be more detrimental than good for you at this time. Distance yourself and seek treatment during this time so that you can be distraction-free and focus on your recovery. Staying at home in fear will only increase your chances of your addiction exacerbating. Remember, your addiction is already putting you in a battle of life or death. You deserve to start walking on a path of safety and security, knowing your addiction is not overcoming your life.
Drug Abuse and the Coronavirus
As previously mentioned, people with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to the coronavirus. Because COVID-19 is a respiratory disease which impairs breathing, people with a nicotine addiction are at a higher risk of contracting this virus. Moreover, smoking marijuna or inhaling hot smoke of any kind can be damaging to your lungs, making the user more vulnerable to COVID-19. Sharing joints, pipes, and paraphernalia further increases one’s chance as saliva contains virus-spreading germs.
The use of other drugs, such as cocaine, meth, heroin, and hallucinogens also put a user at risk of contracting this virus because drug abuse is proven to weaken one’s immune system. Additionally, since drug abuse opens one up to practicing other unhealthy social practices, such as sharing contaminated needles, sex, or meeting with people who have COVID-19 to obtain more illicit drugs, the user is up at an increased risk of exposure to this infectious pathogen.
Knowledge of this increased risk is not meant to scare but rather to inform one of the increased probability they take by not attending inpatient drug rehab out of fear of contracting COVID-19. Building up a healthy immune system during this time, is in fact, one’s best line of defense. Maybe in this way, it would be beneficial to view drug rehab as more helpful instead of harmful during this time period.
Seeking Drug Treatment During the Coronavirus
Although seeking treatment during these uncertain times may seem scary, it is in your best interest to know of the benefits of investing in your health and sobriety at this time. As previously stated, going into a distraction-free environment is one of the best ways to distance yourself from the negative effects that news can have on your drug abuse. The fear only feeds into more unhealthy coping mechanisms and as such, being in an atmosphere where you can solely focus on your sobriety will ensure a successful, long-term sobriety. In fact, this may be the best possible time for you to focus on yourself, as most of the world is shutting down many business practices, meaning that you have much fewer obligations and duties you will need to attend to. Furthermore, even though many people are fearing a financial crisis during this time period as a result of the virus shutting down numerous businesses, realize that most drug rehab facilities are willing to work with you on any economic difficulties you may face.
Remember, a drug-dependent body is more likely to contract disease than one that is sober and healthy. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, treatment can be an effective way of repairing your immune system so that you can face any challenges that may come your way. Please don’t let COVID-19 keep you from getting the help you need and deserve. There is no better time than now to invest in yourself and your sobriety. Reach out to a friendly enrollment advisor and they would be glad to assist you with any questions you may have and calm any nerves or reservations you have about attending rehab at this time. The time to get help is now. Your sobriety is worth the investment.