As we enter the eighth month of the COVID-19 pandemic within the United States, it is always helpful to look at new, refreshed statistics. Previously, researchers were able to draw strong links between addiction and contracting the disease. But now, those rates are increasing; as are the ones tied to dependencies and COVID deaths.
According to new research gathered by The Detroit Free Press, the COVID hospitalization rate for people with substance abuse issues has now reached 41 percent. Even more alarming is the fact that fatality rates for coronavirus patients with dependencies now stand at 10 percent. Those are certainly scary numbers, especially when you consider the amount of COVID deaths across the country.
The Press claims to have gotten the research from The National Institutes of Health. Their findings show that the addicts most likely to develop COVID-19 are the ones battling opioid abuse. It’s also interesting to note that cigarette smokers are in the high risk category (and can certainly face health challenges if they contract it, knowing that this is primarily a lung disease).
Dr. Nora Volkow, who helped contribute to the research, spoke to The Press about the latest report.
“The lungs and cardiovascular system are often compromised in people with (substance use disorder), which may partially explain their heightened susceptibility to COVID-19,” Dr. Volkow explained. “Another contributing factor is the marginalization of people with addiction, which makes it harder for them to access health care services.”
That, of course, is a very important point as well. Due to the stigmas that surround addiction, there is a very high likelihood that many of these people may be suffering in private; afraid to go to a hospital because of their dependency. This can make the situation much worse and, we suspect, could be a contributing factor to the increasing COVID deaths among this sect.
The data gathered by the National Institutes came from the electronic health records of patients from 360 hospitals across the country. It is interesting to note that there were also higher COVID-19 cases among African-Americans (four times more, to be exact).
More data will most certainly be released as the pandemic continues and we believe it is very important to get this information front and center. People battling dependencies (and their families) need to know the serious risks they’re facing right now amid this health crisis. If you or someone you are close to is currently in this type of situation, please reach out and open the door to recovery.