The Covid-19 pandemic is the plot twist in 2020 that many people never expected. Worldwide, more than 33 million people were infected with the virus and over 1 Million people have died from the disease. As we approach the last quarter of the year, the novel virus is not showing any signs of calming down. Until medical experts find an effective cure, the world is facing a new normal where hand washing, face masks, and social distancing are the only options to combat the disease.
As the number of people being infected is increasing, another health crisis is getting worse – substance addiction. The Covid-19 pandemic is presenting various challenges to people suffering from addiction and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the pandemic is disrupting addiction treatment. The National Institute of Drug Abuse states on their website that some public health measures and self-quarantine orders may affect people’s access to medications and support services. Group recovery meetings like AA and NA were limited to virtual meetings as face-to-face interaction was discouraged.
With these developments, one question that many people are asking is whether Covid-19 is more dangerous than addiction or vice versa? Is it safe to go to rehab even with the pandemic?
To Go Or Not To Go To Rehab?
One of the main concerns of people suffering from addiction and their families is whether it is safe to go to rehab during the Covid-19 crisis. There is an underlying fear that going to rehab will expose patients to the virus and will endanger their lives more that’s why some people are choosing to stay at home rather than seek necessary treatment.
These fears are not unfounded. A study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal in September 2020 showed that people with substance use disorders may be more likely to become infected and die of Covid-19. The study also found that people with opioid and tobacco addiction were more likely to die of Covid-19. One of the main reasons why this is so is because people suffering from substance abuse have lowered immune systems, so their bodies have a weaker ability to fight viruses and bacterial infections.
As of September 2020, the probability of dying from Covid-19 in the United States is 4%. With more than 200,000 Americans who already died from Covid-19, this number is already much higher than the number of people who died of flu in 2019, estimated by the CDC at 24,000 to 62,000. It is then natural for people with addiction problems or their families to be cautious about Covid-19 and prefer to stay at home.
The problem, however, is that while staying at home may prevent people from getting Covid-19, they are not safe from the dangers of addiction. Different studies have shown that the number of drug overdose deaths has been increasing even before the pandemic. In 2019, drug overdose deaths have increased by 4% at 70,980 casualties. According to a Stanford epidemiologist, the pandemic can only make it worse. This prediction was proven true by recent findings.
A report from the American Medical Association showed that as of September 2020, drug-related deaths have increased in more than 40 American states. Municipalities have reported 20%, 40%, and even up to 60% more increase in overdose deaths. If this trend continues, the number of drug overdose deaths in the United States could climb up to record numbers.
Avoiding Rehab Because of Covid-19 Makes No Sense
The fears surrounding the novel coronavirus are real. Covid-19 is in fact a threat to public health. However, if you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, you or they already have a life-threatening disease. Does it make sense to postpone receiving treatment for a deadly disease for fear of contracting another? Well, it’s certainly something to think about.
If you pause to consider the dangers of delaying treatment for addiction, you might conclude there are much greater risks by not going to rehab. Especially if you can verify with the potential addiction center you are considering about whether or not they have adequate protocols and precautions in place to ensure safety from Covid-19 exposure.
Lighthouse Treatment Center has created dozens of safety measures to ensure our clients have no risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Fighting Addiction With The Covid-19 Pandemic
Covid-19 and substance addiction are both real threats that have to be taken seriously. When faced with these two health problems, which one is the lesser evil? How do you choose between the two? What will kill you first? The answers to these questions are not definitive. If you have an addiction problem, the decision on whether you should seek treatment and go to rehab will depend on how critical your situation is. Are you at risk of a drug overdose? While staying at home might save you from Covid-19, not seeking professional help could also endanger your life.
At the Lighthouse, we believe that seeking rehab treatment should not be a difficult choice. A person struggling with addiction can still seek treatment while minimizing the risks of being infected with Covid-19. That’s why the Lighthouse Treatment Center has adapted strict Covid-19 safety protocols. Our priority is to make our clients and staff feel safe while they are in our facilities. We have implemented rules and provided training to our staff to ensure that safety standards are always being followed at all times.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available.
Treatment for Drug & Alcohol Abuse
If someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction during these unfortunate times, it is imperative that they receive professional help. Our team of compassionate experts is standing by to provide you a confidential consultation on your situation, and can provide you many resources and options for seeking help.
Don’t wait for the world to change before you get the help you need. We may be facing a long-time before things go back to “normal” – whatever that is. So do yourself or your loved one a solid by picking up the phone and giving us a call.
We are excited to help you shake loose from the unbearable prison and chains of substance abuse. Stop what you’re doing and call us right now!! Please contact us today.