“People with substance abuse disorders were the victims of an epidemic and now we have an epidemic amid a pandemic. I worry although we’re delivering a lot of treatment by phone, Zoom, and FaceTime there really is no substitute for face-to-face encounters with the care of an individual a lot of programs are limiting admissions for new patients in part because there is a problem getting person protection equipment like masks and gloves.”

“Opioid medications bind to the areas of the brain that control pain and emotions driving up feelings of the feel good hormone dopamine in the brain’s rewards areas and producing an intense feeling of Euphoria.”

Those suffering from opioid use disorders shouldn’t be overlooked during this pandemic. Patients with substance use disorders face multiple challenges aside from being able to gain access to the medications that are necessary for their treatment. These challenges include poverty, lack of access to affordable housing, and symptoms from other chronic health conditions.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders”.

It is crucial to recognize these rising statistics and encourage those suffering to get the help they need to recover.

87% of people who are unemployed are more likely to use alcohol heavily and are 29% more likely to become dependent on alcohol. 65% of people who are unemployed are more likely to resort to drug use and 57% more likely to become dependent on the drugs. Even for those recovering from alcohol or substance abuse, a job loss could be a trigger for those to relapse. Regardless of unemployment and the negative effects associated with job loss, there are always places that can help.

There are a number of potential dangers of COVID-19 for those with substance abuse disorders. It is imperative to understand the many options for staying on track during this time in order to hinder the spike of re-occurring substance abuse in patients.

York County has seen a rise in overdose deaths during the corona virus pandemic. Many individuals have been hesitant about calling 911 during this critical time, leading to more and more opioid-related deaths.

The president of Gateway Foundation speaks about relapse during quarantine.