The recent COVID-19 quarantine hasn’t been easy on any of us. It is especially difficult for those in addiction recovery who heavily rely on peer-led meetings and group support to stay sober. Fortunately, many organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are offering online and virtual meetings to help recovering alcoholics and addicts stay connected. While social distancing can still be difficult, there are numerous resources available – all you need to do is know where to look. But what about those who are still active in their addictions? How is the national lockdown affecting active alcoholics and drug addicts? As it turns out, canned goods, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper aren’t the only items that people are buying in bulk. Those who are addicted to illicit drugs are stockpiling their drug of choice in preparation for a possible long-term, mandatory lockdown or a drought in the drug supply. Additionally, with restrictions on travel and with rapidly closing borders, those who rely on an international influx of illicit drugs are resorting to hoarding the drugs that they can already find within the United States. Essentially, drug addicts are so concerned that their supplies will be cut off that they are hoarding illicit substances.
COVID-19 and Drug Addiction
This might seem like a good thing for those who have no firsthand experience with drug addiction. The borders will be closed, no illicit drugs will be getting into the country (people will still find a way to smuggle some, of course, but the number of illicit drugs in circulation is expected to drop dramatically). This means less drug abuse overall, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, because drug addicts are now hoarding illicit substances, addiction specialists across the country are extremely concerned about the consequences of their actions. There are a few concerns that experts have regarding the possible drought in illicit drug production and distribution during the coronavirus pandemic and associated hoarding by drug users.
How the coronavirus pandemic is affecting addicts
- Those who do not have immediate access to their drug of choice or who run out of their drug of choice will begin a painful detox and have no access to medical care. Going into drug withdrawal without 24-hour medical supervision and care can be extremely dangerous – even life-threatening depending on the severity of abuse.
- Those who are addicted to drugs and run out of their supply will engage in risk-taking behaviors. This could include endangering others. Because drug addiction is such a powerful disease, even those who are infected (or are exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19 virus but haven’t gotten tested) might go out searching for their drug of choice, break into homes to steal so that they can support their habit, etc.
- Health-related issues for heavy drug users. These health issues could range from overdose (which is likely if an addict is hoarding their drug of choice, seeing as rationing use isn’t probable) to other pre-existing or drug-related health issues like heart conditions or high blood pressure.
Evoke Wellness at Miramar and Drug Addiction Treatment
Additionally, stockpiling illicit substances will inevitably lead to a shortage, which will result in increased street value. As illicit drugs get more and more expensive, active addicts will go to greater lengths to get a hold of them. Addiction specialists believe that crime rates will increase dramatically over the next several months for this very reason. While many other businesses are closing their doors, we at Evoke Wellness Miramar know how crucial it is that we continue offering our services to those in need. If you or someone you love has been experiencing drug addiction and needs help to quit, we are ready and willing to help in any way that we can. Please give us a call today to learn more about our addiction recovery programs in South Florida, and to ask any questions you might have regarding getting and getting sober amidst the current global pandemic.