Do COVID Vaccines Pose a Risk to Addicts?
The COVID-19 pandemic has put an enormous burden on people’s daily lives and the healthcare system, resulting in widespread disruption of the economy and society. The most affected by this public health crisis are those with severe substance use disorders (SUD). Studies show that this group has a higher risk of getting COVID-19 infection, which can lead to serious illness and even death.
Fortunately, more and more people across the world are being vaccinated against the coronavirus, and most adults in the country have received the first dose. However, one question remains — does the vaccine pose a risk to people who abuse drugs?
Is the COVID Vaccine Safe For People With SUD?
Over 544 million doses of the COVID vaccine have been given out in the United States alone, and that number is growing daily. The good news is that there have been no confirmed reports of adverse health consequences from the vaccine among people who are addicted to drugs.
That being said, it’s also true that no credible research has been done to determine how the vaccines impact those still abusing drugs or alcohol. Nevertheless, the fact that additional studies are needed on this subject doesn’t signify anything positive or negative.
On the other hand, an alarming discovery from another study revealed that those with SUD might have an increased chance of contracting SARS-CoV-2 after receiving the full COVID-19 vaccine. One major factor behind this was the high likelihood of comorbidities and negative socioeconomic factors in patients with SUD, compared to the general population.
Researchers found that the likelihood of COVID-19 infection in persons with SUD who had been vaccinated ranged from 6.8% in smokers to 7.8% in cannabis users. In contrast to the 3.6% risk among those who have been vaccinated but don’t have SUD, the rate of infection is much higher. Even after considering the vaccine brands used and demographics, the risk among vaccinated individuals with SUD remained substantially higher.
How Does COVID-19 Affect Those Who Abuse Drugs?
There is compelling evidence that people who are chronically addicted to drugs have poorer health outcomes upon contracting COVID-19. They are most likely to experience the severe effects of the virus. Some of these coronavirus symptoms include:
- Severe difficulty in breathing
- Having trouble waking up or staying awake
- Aches and pains in the chest, especially while trying to breathe deeply.
- Disorientation and delirium
In the worst-case scenario, persons who suffer from COVID-19 symptoms are much more prone to succumbing to the complications that follow.
With or without the COVID-19 pandemic, a person’s health can be seriously harmed by drug abuse — even more so when taken in excessive doses over time. Fortunately, drug abuse rehab can help. To ensure that they are making appropriate decisions for their health, individuals should speak with a medical professional. Always remember that the best way to make choices regarding health is to rely on science, facts, and the advice of qualified healthcare experts.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Brookdale today. At Brookdale, insurance may cover most, if not all, costs associated with treatment.