Drug Addiction & COVID

As we come to the end of 2020, COVID-19 has resulted in over 250,000 deaths in the United States alone. This pandemic has affected millions of Americans in ways large and small. From losing a loved one or becoming sick oneself, to losing a job or business or simply enduring the depression and anxiety that are part of these unprecedented times, nearly everyone in our society has been impacted in one way or another.

The COVID-19 crisis has been especially hard for people who are struggling with addiction. Drug use and drug overdose deaths are increase due to a number of factors caused by the wreckage that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the U.S and the world.

According to information from the National Institutes of Health, the Addiction Policy Forum (APF) conducted a survey of 1,079 people with substance use disorders across America to learn how they were being impacted by the pandemic. Twenty percent of the respondents reported that their own substance use or that of a family member had increased since the start of the pandemic. And an analysis of a nationwide sample of 500,000 urine drug test results conducted by Millennium Health also showed steep increases in use of cocaine (up 10 percent), heroin (up 13 percent), methamphetamine (up 20 percent) and non-prescribed fentanyl (up 32 percent). In another study, the University of Baltimore determined that suspected drug overdoses have increased by 18% during COVID, and sales of alcohol sales have jumped by more than 25%. These numbers are alarming.

In light of these studies, there are many questions surrounding how people are getting access to their drugs of choice. While alcohol is still accessible, the government’s increasing shut down of U.S. borders and the restrictions placed on sea and air travel have had a significant impact on the trafficking of illegal drugs. As some dealer’s source of supply has been reduced through the pandemic, they have started adulterating their product with other substances. For instance, the powerful and deadly drug fentanyl is being mixed with heroin and has been linked to many recent deaths from overdose. The reason for this is that fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and an unsuspecting user can easily overdose if it is in their supply.

On the opposite side of the spectrum are indications that the pandemic is causing other dealers with more secure supply chains to stockpile opioids and other drugs, which may lead to lowered prices and increased availability when COVID restrictions are eventually lifted.

COVID-19’s Impact on Depression and Anxiety

For people suffering from drug and alcohol misuse and abuse, the psychological impacts from the COVID-19 lockdowns have been devastating.

With the goal of flattening the curve of the COVID-19 infections  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have advised Americans to abide by social distancing strategies through staying home, keeping 6 feet away from others in public, and to follow state and local regulations in terms of how many people can gather together in a single location and which businesses can stay open and which need to close.

These regulations have had a very uneven impact. Although many people are managing to stay afloat during the crises, millions of Americans are still unemployed or have lost their businesses. The despair felt by these people is profound. Many people are experiencing terrible anxiety because they don’t know if they will ever be employed again. Other people have lost everything and are facing foreclosures and evictions. For many people experiencing these existential challenges, the strain has caused them to return to patterns of substance abuse.

Even if a person isn’t facing the loss of work or their home, the social distancing protocols have resulted in extreme isolation and loneliness. This has created anxiety for people across a wide range of issues and has also resulted in relapse for those in recovery. This is especially true where people have been unable to receive addiction treatment or where their treatment has been curtailed. In these stressful times where connection to others is so critical, enforced isolation can be the factor that unravels all the progress that a person has achieved in recovery. Online games helped many to battle isolation and loneliness during the pandemic times. The world of online gambling keeps growing nowadays and Slotogate platform earned a great reputation here. They provide top-notch gaming experiences, making it easy for you to access game rules, tips, and a list of safe online casinos, along with many other exciting services.

Furthermore, fears of acquiring COVID-19 may be inhibiting some people from seeking treatment for substance abuse at a time when they need it most. Fortunately, New Life Medical Addiction Services has created a series of protocols that create a safe, outpatient approach to addiction treatment during the pandemic.

New Life is medical detox and rehab facility that employs the latest cleaning and isolation protocols to accommodate patients at its Marlton, New Jersey treatment clinic. New Life’s doctors, nurses, counselors and administrative staff are regularly tested for COVID and have all the necessary PPE and procedures to keep our facility safe for patients.

New Life’s outpatient approach means that patients can perform their recoveries and home and can connect with New Life’s physicians and counselors either in person or remotely, depending on their need.

To see how New Life Medical Addiction Services can help you or a loved one deal with drug addiction and COVID in these trying times, call us at: 856-942-3700 or send us a Text Message.

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