During the COVID-19 crisis we hear a lot about vulnerable populations. This is the intersection where your addiction and COVID-19 meet. Vulnerable populations include: the elderly, those with underlying conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and those with compromised immune systems. Unfortunately, if you have an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol you fall into a vulnerable population. Addiction and your physical health are in opposition to one another. Your addiction compromises your physical health.
If You Are Addicted To Drugs Or Alcohol Are You Vulnerable
You fall into a vulnerable population because your immune system is not as strong as it would be were you not abusing alcohol and/or drugs. Alcohol, nicotine, opiates, cocaine, and marijuana have been found to compromise your immune system at the cellular level. There is an alteration to how your cells absorb or ward off viruses. Unfortunately, this item is not stressed when you hear about substance abuse rehabilitation. A compromised immune system is a major factor with COVID-19.
How Can Addiction Diminish Your Physical Health?
A compromised immune system is not the only way that addiction and your physical health interact. According to a study done at the Massachusetts General Hospital Recovery Research Institute in Boston, more than 1/3 of those in recovery have a chronic physical disease such as HIV and/or other sexually transmitted infections, liver disease, cancer, hepatitis C, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, diabetes, and heart disease. These health problems are caused by both the chemical reactions to the alcohol or substance, and the inherent lifestyles including socio-economic factors are also part of the equation.
What You Can Do To Improve Your Physical Health
Today, we have to be more conscious of what we do with our hands. News outlets are constantly reminding us to wash our hands and be mindful of where we place them. Our hands seem to be the major transmitters of this disease. We want to go a step further. Be mindful of using your hands to pick up a drug or alcohol. Improving your physical health starts with your decision to stop abusing alcohol and drugs.
The way the COVID-19 virus works is through the respiratory system. Ultimately, the disease leads to pneumonia-like symptoms. Your lungs fill with fluid. This is why people with a compromised immune system are at greater risk of dying from the disease. Smokers who have weaker lungs are also quite vulnerable. The elderly are more vulnerable because their respiratory systems are weaker. In short, this disease strikes the respiratory system ultimately and this is how people are dying.
The Progression of COVID-19
According to the CDC between two and 14 days after exposure to the virus sufferers will get a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. As the days progress, acute respiratory distress syndrome can develop. This does not occur with all patients and it is the vast minority. 80% of people will have a milder version and it never advances to this point. However, once ARDS has set in the disease is at a critical stage.
Smokers should stop smoking or at least try to taper off. Building a healthy respiratory system can start with your next breath. You don’t have to wait.
Be Proactive – What To Do Right Now
Take a deep breath and be glad that you can do so. You have the power to stop your drug addiction today by calling a drug treatment facility to begin help. An intake worker is available to take your information and to start the process. Health care workers are essential employees because your life is so essential. The more distance you create between active use in former use is key in staying healthy. Active addiction and physical health will never commingle. Contact Oceanfront Recovery to start recovery today. Call 877.279.1777 for more information.