Study Suggests Addicts Are at Greater Risk of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred tragic, unprecedented loss around the world. Unfortunately, a recent study indicates that addicts are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and often have worse outcomes from infection than other patients. The findings of this study are crucial to consider for those struggling with SUD amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Study Outcomes

Conducted by researchers at The MetroHealth System, Case Western Reserve University, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this study revealed that COVID-19 infections and adverse outcomes from the virus are more common among people with substance abuse disorder (SUD). The link between substance abuse and COVID-19 infection was the most prevalent in patients with opioid and tobacco addictions. 

In this study, electronic health records of over 73 million U.S. patients were analyzed. 10% of the patients in the study had addiction disorders, but made up almost 16% of the COVID-19 cases in the study. This indicates that people who have recently been diagnosed with SUD are more likely to contract COVID-19. 

Why Addiction Heightens COVID-19 Risk

The higher risk of COVID-19 among addicts is likely due to multiple factors, including:

  • The prevalence of compromised lung and cardiovascular health among addicts
  • The marginalization of those with SUD and its negative impact on access to healthcare for addicts
  • The increased risk of immune system disorders among drug users

In response to this study, healthcare providers are recommended to carefully monitor SUD patients and encourage these patients to practice COVID-19 prevention methods. 

The Path to Greater Health for Patients with Addiction

With COVID-19 still an active risk in the United States, those struggling with SUD may be able to reduce their risk of infection by getting on the path to addiction recovery. Contact Dream Life Treatment Center today to learn about our addiction treatment services.