The world’s reaction to the outbreak of the coronavirus is unprecedented in modern times, and many businesses are closing their doors in an effort to contain it’s spread. However, many detox and rehab facilities, including Just Believe Detox, not only remain open to new patients but conduct virus screening to ensure that current residents are not exposed to COVID-19.
As a matter of fact, there are many benefits to entering a detox program at this time, as detailed here. These include inpatients services in a controlled environment and the ability to improve one’s health and ability to fight off the potentially severe and life-threatening symptoms associated with the coronavirus, which, according to the CDC, has emergency warning signs that include the following:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
In the most severe cases, COVID-19 can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and fatal kidney failure.
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please seek medical help immediately.
COVID-19 and Substance Abuse Risks
In addition to nicotine, smoking marijuana can increase the risk of contracting COVID-19. The Inhalation of hot smoke of any kind can be damaging to the lungs. When people share joints, pipes, and other paraphernalia, they should be aware that they may contain saliva and can potentially spread germs that are infected with the virus.
The use of other illicit drugs, including cocaine, meth, and heroin, can also put a person at a heightened risk for contracting coronavirus. Research has shown that drugs of abuse alter immune functions in addition to their other adverse mental and physical health effects. And like marijuana, social practices associated with drug use, such as sharing contaminated needles or having unprotected sex, also increase the risk of exposure to infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
What’s more, heavy alcohol use has also been linked to immune system compromisation and may make one more susceptible to contracting certain infections.
As a final note, drug and alcohol abuse tends to lower a person’s inhibitions. As such, people who are engaging in this behavior may be less likely to be proactive in protecting themselves from others or remain sufficiently isolated.
Who Faces a High Risk of Severe Withdrawal?
People who have intense, prolonged dependencies on drugs or alcohol may encounter severe or potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to quit or are unable to obtain their drug of choice. In the current world environment, this may be an exceptionally pressing problem for several reasons.
Those who are dependent on alcohol may have difficulty maintaining their addiction as more and more stores close, and resources become scarce. And with the possibility of prescription drug shortages, an increasing number of people may be compelled to turn to illicit substances as a dangerous means to replace medications they can no longer obtain or afford.
All this means that people who are using any intoxicating substances, even those via prescription, may face a higher likelihood of either developing additional or worsening dependencies, or being forced into abrupt drug withdrawal.
Those who addicted to alcohol and benzodiazepines face the highest risk of experiencing life-threatening effects if they quit using suddenly or dramatically cut back. All individuals who are dependent on substances, however, can undergo severe complications during withdrawal that can be both dangerous and unpredictable.
How to Prevent Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Persons who are chemically addicted to substances and are forced into abrupt withdrawal are almost sure to experience related symptoms that range anywhere from mild to severe. The best way to reduce or prevent these is to undergo a medically-assisted detox in a specialized treatment center.
These facilities not only relieve unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and circumvent severe ones, they offer emotional support in addition to medical services to help people deal with detox and withdrawal from a mental health perspective. In doing so, feelings of depression, anxiety, and other issues can be addressed and managed.
Getting Help for Addiction
Although it may be tempting for some to hole up in their home and indulge in their drug(s) of choice during this challenging period in history, the reality is there has never been a better time to get help. Not only can this prevent severe withdrawal symptoms and improve one’s health and ability to fight off infections, but it can also effectively protect people from the outside world and ensure safety and comfort as the world awaits a vaccine for COVID-19.
If you are struggling with the abuse of drugs or alcohol, we urge you to contact us today. Discover how we help those who need it most to escape from the vicious cycle of addiction for life!