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How Covid-19 Affected Drug Use in United States

COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease that is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The spread of COVID-19 occurs through airborne particles and droplets carrying the virus. The majority of those who are infected with COVID-19 are either asymptomatic or develop only mild symptoms. In these instances, recovery happens within weeks of infection and without treatment. Some individuals, typically older people and those with underlying medical conditions, become incredibly ill and require hospitalization. COVID-19 and its complications can be fatal.

Covid-19 and Drug Addiction Rates

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, has caused unprecedented changes to the world since March 2020. Because the spread of COVID affects every continent, it is considered a global pandemic. Personal and economic activity was completely upended as strict stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines were put into place. These conditions lead to massive job loss and extended quarantines, which, for some, increased stress, isolation, and financial problems.

How Has Covid Affected Addiction in the United States?

These effects of the pandemic can be relapse triggers for those who have struggled with a substance use disorder in the past or can lead others to start using and form an addiction. COVID-19 has not put a stop to addiction but has actually increased substance use across the US. A May 2021 study found that almost one-third of those who drink alcohol increased their consumption during the pandemic. The same study reported drug use increased at a similar rate. This resulted in 2021 having the highest number of drug overdoses in a 12-month period for the US. In November of 2021, it was reported that over 100,000 overdose deaths had occurred. Because of this increase in fatal outcomes, treating SUDs in drug and alcohol treatment is more important than ever.

Covid Brings Addiction Into the Light

The COVID-19 pandemic began to push conversations about SUDs into the open as drug and alcohol use, along with deaths from overdoses, soared. Loneliness, confusion, and unemployment caused more people to either start using or increase their use of drugs or alcohol at a time when treatment centers and support groups were shuttered due to the public health crisis. The dramatic rise pushed some companies to explore new ways, ranging from old-school to high-tech, of tackling the disorder. One union is hosting onsite AA meetings for the first time, and a construction company is installing boxes containing naloxone injections that can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Medical benefits are being added or bolstered as companies put more pressure on their insurers to provide efficacious, cost-effective treatment for substance abuse. There’s also a growing interest in the plethora of digital companies that offer online tools as alternatives to or support for more traditional treatments, such as a stay at a residential facility.

Are Drug Treatment Centers Open During Coronavirus?

Yes, rehabs are still open. Rehab for drug and alcohol addiction is an essential service, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many people, the risks of alcohol poisoning or a drug overdose are more dangerous and urgent than the risk of coronavirus. Because lives are on the line, treatment cannot stop. Similar to medical professionals in America’s clinics and hospitals, the licensed treatment professionals who work in rehab centers are dedicated to helping the community during these uncertain times. Across the country, rehab centers remain ready and available to provide high-quality treatment to anyone seeking to overcome a SUD.

Start Healing from Substance Abuse

The team of addiction specialists at the Evoke Wellness MA knows that no two individuals struggling with addiction are the same. This is why we are careful to design a drug and alcohol treatment center for each of our clients that is tailored to their individual needs. From our medical detox programs to our residential rehab programs to our intensive outpatient level of clinical care, Evoke Wellness MA has a solution that is right for you or someone you love.