Across the globe, we’ve seen the opioid crisis take over. We’ve witnessed how opioid drugs have flipped lives upside down, have heightened crime rates, have pulled families apart, and have resulted in vast overdose and drug-related deaths.
Following suit in some ways, as a world, we’ve been hit by COVID-19. The pandemic has resulted in increased death rates, has caused significant negatives for many, has changed our lifestyles to surround social distancing and isolation, and has impacted our health in more ways than one.
Through the global crisis of COVID-19, concerns surround the already excessive rates of opioid abuse. Down to a number of factors, such as paused treatment services, down to greater motivations to abuse drugs, down to the link between isolation and substance abuse, and down to the correlation between one economic crisis to another, the effects of COVID-19 have been detrimental for some.
Here’s some insight into the effects of COVID-19 on the opioid crisis, along with streams of support if you are personally suffering through opioid abuse. At Rehab Clinics Group, we are open throughout the global pandemic, here to support those in need through rehabilitation.
The ongoing detriment of the global opioid crisis
Opioid drugs are commonly associated with pain relief. This is in fact one of the key driving forces of consumption. While prescription opioids are controlled greater, both illegal use of synthetic opioids, and the misuse of prescription opioids are on the rise.
Throughout the years, we’ve seen the global opioid crisis heighten. Any form of drug abuse can cause health problems, money issues, irrational behaviours and relationship breakdowns.
Yet, through communities, through generations and through cultures, we’re witnessing opioid abuse take over, resulting in a significant crisis.
This far, the opioid crisis has increased crime rates, overdose rates, mental health rates, suicide rates and drug related death rates; all of which are damaging our societies and causing significant worry. Quality of life, for many, is in the balance through the opioid crisis.
Great efforts have been made to tackle the global opioid crisis, by increasing awareness around the cause and effect of addiction, along with boosting support resources. However, as one global crisis materialises, another has followed, in the form of COVID-19.
Here’s the exact effects of COVID-19 on the opioid crisis, which has unfortunately intensified difficulties for recovering addicts and those with newly formed opioid habits.
The exact effects of COVID-19 on the opioid crisis
COVID-19 has caused great suffering for most individuals across the globe. Whether that’s bereavement, job losses, the development of mental health issues, money worries or paused plans, in one way or another, the pandemic has made its mark.
However, for those who abuse addictive substances, now more than ever, their greatest challenges are present. Enabling drug abuse, to any degree is difficult, especially once an addiction develops. Little control is present, which carries many negatives. Now consider this with a highly addictive substance of opioids, paired with the tests of COVID-19. As we’re sure you can agree, those everyday worries have intensified for many different reasons.
Here’s the effects of COVID-19 on the opioid crisis, making this time significantly harder for those impacted by opioid abuse.
Greater motivations to abuse opioids
As we’re hit with bad news after bad news, more and more individuals are being triggered to abuse drugs. Through accessibility, opioids are found to be one of the highest consumed drugs, down to the pain relief and escapism that they offer.
Through suffering, caused by COVID-19, greater motives are present to begin the consumption of opioids, to unknowingly misuse prescriptions, or to increase existing abuse of opioids.
Reasons such as job losses, loneliness, mental health issues, physical pain and isolation are all common motives, currently, linked to both COVID-19 and heightened opioid abuse.
Research throughout the opioid crisis suggests that economic crises can increase drug abuse. For example, recessions have previously triggered and aggravated the opioid crisis. Through an unprecedented crisis, COVID-19 has brought our global economy to a halt.
Many industries have fallen through, businesses have gone bust, unemployment is at its highest, and many are suffering financially. Through the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, opioid abuse on a greater scale has been predicted.
Emotional struggles and isolation
Our norms have adapted on a significant scale down to COVID-19. Those who are social, who have strong mental health, who have a purpose have suffered emotionally. Now imagine those with pre-existing mental health issues and the tests that the unknown of COVID-19 has caused.
Feeling isolated is also a common causation of initial opioid abuse. Down to uncontrollable isolation, caused by the effects of COVID-19, more individuals are relying on opioids to escape the feelings of loneliness.
Paused treatment services
Some recovering addicts will unfortunately experience paused treatment services, down to the pressures of COVID-19. This disruption can be detrimental, especially when considering the scale of the opioid crisis.
Disruptions are detrimental as progress which has already been made will likely unravel without ongoing exposure to support or treatment. Now include the above effects of COVID-19 and combine this with a lack of support, and greater motivations to reuse opioids will be present.
The closure of rehab facilities
While some rehab facilities have closed or reduced their services to protect the public, others have had to shut their doors down to financial problems. This as a whole will place pressures on the pre-existing opioid crisis, down to reduced resources and accessibility.
By considering the above, it’s easy to see the negative effects of COVID-19 on the opioid crisis. Not only has it increased desires to abuse opioids, it’s also delayed and deterred recovery journeys for many individuals. All in all, without regaining control, the global opioid crisis will worsen and last way beyond COVID-19.
Source support throughout COVID-19 at Rehab Clinics Group
If you’re suffering from opioid abuse, or an addiction of any kind, we are available to support you at Rehab Clinics Group. Offering a range of rehab clinics and programmes, we are here for you.
While our norms may be different, our quality remains, ensuring that you can break away from the opioid crisis and the effects of COVID-19 on drug abuse. Reach out today for our support throughout this unknown, devastating time.