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How COVID-19 and Addiction Feed Each Other

The people who are most vulnerable to drug and alcohol addiction are also more vulnerable to the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Sadly, this is not a coincidence. According to an article published by Harvard Health, the way these two epidemics intertwine is largely due to “social determinants of health.”

What Are Social Determinants of Health?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines social determinants of health as:

Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play [which] affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.”

When exploring this phenomenon, both addiction and COVID-19 fall into the ‘wide range of health risks and outcomes,’ mentioned above. Families and individuals who are homeless, poor, or even incarcerated are more likely to be addicted to drugs, which in turn, makes them more susceptible to contracting and suffering the complications of COVID-19. Many people struggling with addiction also smoke and have lung or cardiovascular diseases and face health and socioeconomic issues, like being under- or uninsured.

Other Factors That Influence Addiction

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have told people to stay home. This advice disrupts and “directly contradicts” many of the services available for those fighting addiction. Many patients are unable to access medication-assisted treatment, cannot attend therapy or support programs, and have difficulty finding rehab clinics that are accepting new patients.

Further, many recovery experts agree that “addiction is a disease of isolation,” so social distancing measures are taking a large toll on those trying to maintain their sobriety. Further, the emotional impact of COVID-19 is affecting all of us, and many of the negative emotions that accompany a global health crisis are common triggers for drug and alcohol use. For example, stress and heightened anxiety are “near-universal” triggers for taking a drink or dose.

Heightened Risks of Overdose

Many people who previously consumed drugs or alcohol with a friend may now be using substances alone. This leads to an increased risk of overdose because there is no one around to call 911 or administer a life-saving dose of naloxone in the event of an emergency.

As a result, “police have been finding people dead in their apartments.”

Additionally, overdose survivors may not receive the crucial care they need after such an event. Starting addiction treatment in the emergency room can decrease an individual’s likelihood of relapse, but overwhelmed medical centers cannot always provide this life-saving care and attention.

Rehab Facilities Are More Important Than Ever

Due to many of the factors above, getting help is especially crucial during this chaotic time. Fortunately, The Nestled Recovery Center remains open for medical detox and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Leave the world of stress and addiction behind and take time for yourself and your mental health in our safe, comfortable environment. At The Nestled Recovery Center, we believe in the holistic model of wellness, which means we will take care of you as a whole person. Not only will you focus on your sobriety while you are here, but you will also receive support for your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social wellbeing. Our team will provide resources to help with your occupational, environmental, and financial wellness, as well, so you don’t have to fall prey to social determinants of health in the future.

Take control of your own destiny. Call The Nestled Center today at (702) 299-6406 or click here to request more information.

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