The threat of COVID-19 is presenting all of us with unique circumstances. The uncertainty and anxiety are sure to wear down our mental and physical health. Unfortunately, folks suffering from addiction are at an even higher risk. Addiction and immunity are directly linked. In other words, your physical health already weak from alcohol and drug abuse, which leaves you more susceptible to viral infections. To learn more, contact Promises Behavioral Health today.
In reality, drug and alcohol abuse always puts you at risk for illness and even death. However, with the introduction of this new virus into our communities, the chances are even more significant.
How Are Addiction and Immunity Linked?
There is an inextricable connection between addiction and immunity. There is no such thing as a healthy addict. Abusing drugs and alcohol damages your health. Here are just a few examples of some of the adverse effects:
- Cocaine – increased risk of heart attack, stroke, seizure, respiratory failure, and a higher likelihood of contracting an infection
- Methamphetamines – higher occurrences of heart attack, stroke, acute aortic dissection, or sudden cardiac death, even after the first use, and weakened immune system.
- Alcohol – higher incidences of cardiomyopathy, stroke, high blood pressure, certain cancers, permanent liver damage, pancreatitis, and compromised immunity
- Opioids – likely to encounter breathing problems, chest pain irreversible organ damage, brain damage, seizures, cardiac arrest, compromised immunity.
As you look through the lists of adverse effects listed above, the ones that should stand out in regards to COVID-19 are the ones concerned with breathing, the lungs, and immunity. While in the throes of active addiction, individuals are at an increased risk of contracting infections, experiencing breathing difficulty and having weakened lung capacity, and not practicing adequate hygiene.
COVID-19, Addiction, and Immunity
Over the past several weeks, you may have heard about certain people being at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Older adults, people with other serious illnesses, pregnant women, smokers, and those with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk of infection. Abusing drugs or alcohol, as you can see from the effects above, limits your body’s ability to fight diseases of this type. Your lungs, damaged from regularly smoking drugs or even cigarettes, are exposed to viral infection. Also, there is a good chance that you are not taking care of your hygiene or practicing appropriate behaviors. It is more important than ever to understand the relationship between addiction and your physical health.
The Centers for Disease Control have listed the following practices to keep yourself and others safe:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you are ill and as much as possible even if you aren’t
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces
- Do not shake hands and maintain 6 feet between yourself and others
The threat of this new virus is genuine. While everyone should be taking care and practicing self-quarantine and social distancing, it is even more critical if you have been abusing drugs and alcohol.
Now is The Time to Get Treatment
It shouldn’t take a global pandemic to get us on the road to recovery. But, if that is what does it, then maybe something good can come out of this. Right now, more than ever, you should understand the connection between addiction and immunity. Despite what is going on around us, there are people ready and able to help you get on the road to recovery. At Promises Behavioral Heath, we offer treatment for a wide range of addictions, including:
- Alcohol addiction
- Heroin addiction
- Cocaine addiction
- Meth addiction
- Opioid addiction