Increase in Drug Abuse Because of COVID-19
Drug abuse and addiction is a major health crisis that we are already dealing with. When we add a pandemic such as COVID–19 to the mix, it only expands the deadly drug addiction problem. People are uneasy and uncertain about the future. They are depressed and anxious. This is a perfect recipe for turning to drugs in an effort to numb those feelings and emotions. According to an article published by SAMHSA:
In 2018, an estimated 164.8 million people aged 12 or older in the United States (60.2 percent) were past-month substance users (i.e., tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs). About 2 out of 5 people aged 12 or older (108.9 million, or 39.8 percent) did not use substances in the past month. The 164.8 million past-month substance users in 2018 include 139.8 million people who drank alcohol, 58.8 million people who used a tobacco product, and 31.9 million people who used an illicit drug.
These numbers are only going to rise with COVID–19 in full effect in the US. As the world continues to lock down and force millions out of their jobs and into isolation, it is hitting one group of people pretty hard. People who are recovering from a substance abuse disorder are finding this time of isolation especially difficult. Their routines and sobriety are being uprooted and this is causing many people to relapse during this pandemic. There is also the issue with illegal drug supplies that are making it harder to get drugs due to borders closing turning most people that are dealing with drug addiction into hoarders or periods of time they go through withdrawals. There are many different reasons why COVID–19 is pulling so many people back into drug abuse.
During quarantine, many people lose their social support and continued involvement is a program of recovery. Without this support, feelings of isolation and emotional distress can be a serious trigger for many who are suffering from a substance abuse disorder. There has always been a connection between self-isolation and drug abuse. That is why it is so triggering.
Coronavirus and Drug Abuse
It is important for those who suffer from drug abuse, as well as for their loved ones, to know what the signs of relapse look like so you may be able to avoid it. Some signs include:
- Isolation from loved ones and friends
- Poor communication
- Poor eating habits
- Poor sleeping habits
- Irritability and anxiety
- Talking with past friends who are still using
- Lying and manipulation
- Bottling up emotions
- Skipping virtual meetings
In another view, tens of thousands of Americans have filed for unemployment. COVID–19 has caused a lot of economic stress and loss of jobs causes a lot of psychological stress on people. This causes an increase in drug abuse. An article posted by NIH states:
Drug use increases in times of recession because unemployment increases psychological distress which increases drug use. During times of recession, psychological support for those who lost their job and are vulnerable to drug use (relapse) is likely to be important.
In other words, unemployment and recessions are associated with higher drug and alcohol abuse.
Addiction Treatment During Coronavirus
With this perfect storm of drug abuse brewing in our country, it is important and necessary to take all necessary steps to get and stay sober during these uncertain times. If you find yourself needing and wanting help, Evoke Wellness Miramar offers premier medical detox as well as a residential treatment facility in South Florida to help you regain your life. We are dedicated to helping you overcome addiction and alcoholism. Drug addiction and alcoholism isn’t easy thing to face. Luckily you do not have to face it on your own. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life.