The pandemic has been a source of concern and stress for all of us, increasing the rates at which mental health is declining as a whole. Anxiety and depression are both being reported at alarmingly high rates but those aren’t the only conditions stemming from the pressures of the COVD-19 pandemic. Drug and alcohol abuse are also on the rise as individuals look to cope with the mounting levels of stress.
The Implications of Substance Abuse and COVID-19
Right now the population is experiencing the perfect storm of various pandemic measures, lockdown protocols and a shifting job market. When the stress becomes too great to handle, many people turn to various substances rather than seeking out mental health professionals. Not only is this damaging to their mental state, but substance abuse can also lead to higher chances of contracting COVID-19 with more severe symptoms on top of that.
With more severe symptoms comes an increased chance of hospitalization and mortality. Even if an individual is able to avoid catching COVID-19, substance abuse and addiction are extremely difficult to overcome on the other side. As of June 2020, an additional 13% of Americans have either started or increased their use of drugs or alcohol in order to cope with the pandemic.
What’s even more concerning is the fact that cases of overdose have spiked an additional 18% nationwide. Over 40 states have seen an increase in both mortality and substance abuse related to opioid use alone. This doesn’t take into account the increased abuse related to:
What Does Substance Abuse Look Like?
Identifying substance abuse can help keep individuals from developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Addiction or substance use disorder is when a person is unable to control how much substance they use or the frequency. The negative consequences are ignored in pursuit of acquiring more drugs or alcohol as the user feels they need to be under the influence in order to feel “normal” again.
When the amount of substance use is increased, the central nervous system that controls all of our internal processes starts relying on the presence of said substance. Over time a dependency forms as the brain accommodates this presence and when the individual stops taking drugs or drinking alcohol, they experience withdrawal symptoms while the brain learns to function on its own again. Depending on the severity of the substance abuse, these withdrawal symptoms can be life threatening if detox is not done under the supervision of medical professionals.
Finding Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
America’s Rehab Campuses have been open to safely serve our communities during the pandemic no matter how severe of a situation an individual is in. Our compassionate staff of addiction recovery specialists come from different disciplines to help comfortably get through the detox process and then through a tailored treatment program. The goal for every one of our guests isn’t just immediate sobriety but to give them the tools to live a life free of the constraints of addiction.
If you or a loved one have struggled with substance abuse during the pandemic, we encourage you to reach out for a confidential consultation today and we’ll answer any questions you may have.