As more and more stores are closing, especially state-run liquor stores in states like Alabama and Pennsylvania, many health officials worry about the risks posed to persons who are dependent on alcohol if they are forced to endure the potentially life-threatening symptoms associated with withdrawal.
Also, several other states have requested that establishments shut down bars and restaurants to help stop the spread of the virus. The owners of stores that are still in business have reported experiencing a dramatic uptick in liquor sales, even for use as hand sanitizer, currently a scarce commodity. All of these actions could eventually lead to a shortage of alcohol.
According to WebMD, severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include delirium tremens (DTs), a condition that may manifest 48-72 hours after the last drink. It is characterized by confusion, delusions, hallucinations, other psychotic symptoms, seizures, rapid heart rate, hypertension, fever, and sweating.
This disorder involves detrimental dysfunction in the nerves that regulate non-voluntary body functions. If left untreated, these symptoms can lead to death.
Certain advocates for those with alcohol dependency warn that limited resources can cause sufferers to become unable to acquire the beer or wine they need. In turn, they may turn to cheap hard liquor and eventually face even more serious consequences.
Bill Stauffer, executive director of the Pennsylvania Recovery Organization Alliance, said:
“If you’re a middle- or upper-class person with heavy alcohol use, you’re going to find a way to get to those distilleries and get hard liquor. For poor members of the community who may not have access to those kinds of services, it’s going to continue to be a concern. Hopefully, there are efforts to target support for them.”
Stauffer went on to say those who are dependent might not know it, and that withdrawal symptoms can be severe and life-threatening. He stressed that those who are encountering alcohol withdrawal symptoms should go somewhere they can be treated, presumably a hospital or detox and addiction recovery center.
Illegal Drug Availability and COVID-19
Other potential problems could occur when persons addicted to alcohol cannot afford or obtain their drug of choice. In essence, they may turn to illegal street drugs, such as heroin—a popular go-to because it induces relaxing, euphoric effects. Unfortunately, heroin can be even more dangerous than alcohol, and a person who does not have a tolerance for it can easily overdose and die, even if they use it just once.
If that’s not enough, the U.S. is also facing a possible shortage of prescription drugs, another issue that could force some individuals to turn to illicit drug use. And unfortunately, drug dealers don’t generally halt operations based on fears of a virus. In fact, drug cartels are often ahead of the curve in these situations, predicting increases in demand for their products and ramp up the production and distribution of substances accordingly.
How to Avoid Coronavirus with Rehab
While many individuals are trying to avoid crowded public places, human contact may still be unavoidable without complete quarantine. If you aren’t working from your home or you need to go to the stores for supplies, you could be at risk of contracting the coronavirus. Understandably, many people are too preoccupied with the virus and what is going on in the world to think about much else. However, it’s important to stress that those who need treatment may be able to better protect themselves from coronavirus with detox and rehab. Here’s why…
Rehab offers a more controlled environment, and residential treatment, especially, strictly limits contact with the outside world. Because of this isolation, rehab may be able to lower a person’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Also, many centers, including Just Believe Detox, is conducting coronavirus screening before admitting individuals into our programs to ensure that our current inpatients remain safe.
If you have been addicted to drugs or alcohol for a prolonged period, the likelihood that your health has been significantly compromised is high. Because the coronavirus tends to be more problematic for those with existing health issues, addiction could place a person at a higher risk for experiencing severe symptoms if they contract this virus.
Addiction Increases Risk of Exposure
Drug and alcohol abuse are risky endeavors regardless, but those who continue to fuel their addiction can place themselves at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Whether a person is purchasing alcohol at a store or obtaining drugs off the street from a drug dealer, he or she is coming into contact with more people than is necessary. Also, the substances themselves have been circulating and they may have come in contact with someone who has the coronavirus.
Getting Help for Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal
Those who are dependent on alcohol or drugs are urged to seek treatment in a safe facility where they can withdraw under medical supervision. Just Believe Recovery is open to those who require detox and other services and is currently taking measures to ensure that those we treat are not exposed to COVID-19 and can get the help they need amidst this pandemic.
If you are ready to reclaim your life, there has never been a better time to seek the help you need! Contact us today and find out how we can help!