In the past month, a number of incredibly important studies have been published about what the treatment prognosis looks like in the United States for the average alcoholic or person with substance use disorder. It should be noted that all of these studies seem to suggest that there are more people suffering from substance use disorder for the first time during Covid-19, and more people with previous SUD diagnoses having depression and substance abuse problems during this latest wave of Covid-19. A study I found from the American Public Health Association described the issue in this way,
“By the end of 2020, deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 300 000, and more than 19 million cases were reported in the United States. Although the pandemic affects everyone, the risk is especially severe for the millions of vulnerable Americans with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and, alternately, for those at risk for developing this condition as a result of pandemic-related factors. Consensus is emerging among disaster researchers that the severity and incidence of substance use disorders increase as a result of disaster-related psychological changes. Disaster exposures involve behavior changes and readjustment related to unanticipated problems, such as job loss, housing insecurity, and loss of a loved one.[ 1] Research shows that coping with such trauma-related stressors as well as posttraumatic stress symptoms may manifest in increased alcohol consumption.”
It should be noted that the study follows these statements with 3 other major factors causing problems for people with alcoholism during Covid-19. In this weeks Part 1 article, I will cover the problems alcoholics have had during the first and second wave of Covid-19, and next week we will return to discuss what these researchers believe we can do as vaccinations increase and Covid-19 hopefully gets better. As a person who works on this issue, I can say that we will be left with many major crises after Covid-19 improves, including record rates of suicide, depression, and alcoholism and substance use disorder. If you or a loved on is in need of counseling and treatment for alcoholism, the best drug and alcohol rehab in the world is in Panama City, Florida and our clinicians are available at the phone number on this website.
Alcoholics and Covid-19
“The pandemic’s stressors and alcohol consumption are reciprocal. It is well-recognized that alcohol abuse is associated with a range of communicable and noncommunicable conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and liver disease.”
This statement from the study is poorly understood by the public at large, in my opinion. Many diseases, both contagious and not contagious, group together amongst patients who have 1 or more of said diseases. Liver disease is often caused by alcoholism and substance use disorder, and liver disease makes a person much more likely to be hospitalized by Covid-19. This goes beyond the simple fact that people in high-risk groups for Covid-19, such as rural populations, are more likely to suffer from Alcoholism and Substance use disorder. At the best drug and alcohol rehabs in Florida we are trying to educate the public on the ways that diseases interact to harm humans. The researchers go on to state that, “The confluence of fear, routine disruption, financial distress, and isolation experienced throughout the world during a global pandemic can certainly affect mental health and substance use at a population level.” We have seen that these effects, which include record suicide numbers, can be worsened amongst large rural or urban populations even more so than the general population. However, it is paramount that the general population comes to grips with the seriousness of these issues. In the next part I will discuss what the researchers believe can be done, and I promise that the great Clinicians at rehabs for alcoholism, like Florida Springs, will lead the way on cutting edge new therapies for alcoholism wherever possible.
By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at TACannonWriting@gmail.com)
ATTONITO, J.; VILLALBA, K.; FONTAL, S. Priorities for Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment and Prevention During COVID-19’s Second Wave. American journal of public health, [s. l.], v. 111, n. 3, p. 359–362, 2021. DOI 10.2105/AJPH.2020.306070. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mnh&AN=33566664&authtype=geo&geocustid=s8475741&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Acesso em: 1 abr. 2021.