Coronavirus has arrived, and people of all walks of life are being forced to take note. Although the timeline of the virus remains unknown, even the most optimistic projections show it having a significant effect on our lives for many months to come. The results of the virus vary from person to person. Still, one fact is clear: Some people are at higher risk of severe complications and even death than others, and those dealing with addiction look to be at a significantly higher risk than others of a similar age. While alcohol and drug rehab are ideal at any point in time, rehab centers offer an additional benefit: extra safety from the virus. Here are a few reasons why.
A significant part of the rehab process is medical monitoring to prevent patients from suffering from the potentially dangerous effects of withdrawal. This monitoring can also help detect if patients seem to be showing signs of the coronavirus, which lets experts detect the virus early on and find appropriate medical care. When dealing with addiction, it can be challenging to know if specific symptoms are due to substance abuse or from the virus, and entering rehab gives patients access to experts who can make informed decisions.
Building Your Immune System
Various drugs and alcohol can have adverse effects on the immune system. Although the ramifications of substance abuse on coronavirus outcomes aren’t fully understood yet, any factors that lead to a weakened immune system are likely to have significant adverse effects. Although it takes some time for your body and immune system to recover, starting the rehab process as soon as possible helps your body fight the virus should you become infected. Remember that the virus is likely to stay around for many months, so even if you don’t contract the virus soon, you’ll be able to reap benefits for months and years to come. Note, too, that some of the health benefits of detox can start in a matter of days or weeks, so don’t feel as if you’re hopeless.
Basic Sanitation Access
Both short- and long-term homelessness are standard results from sustained addiction, and health officials believe the homeless population is at high risk. Hand-washing is rare among the homeless, as finding a sink, especially one stocked with soap, is difficult or sometimes impossible, especially as public locations close for the night. Hand-washing doesn’t just protect individuals from contracting coronavirus; it also reduces the risk of spread to other communities. In addition, studies indicate that the virus might spread from fecal matter as well, putting the homeless at even higher risk from contamination as bathrooms can be challenging to find. Entering an alcohol and drug rehab facility grants consistent access to these front-line tools in the fight against the spread of the virus.
Whether homeless or not, those dealing with addiction often find themselves in crowded environments around people who may not exercise the best practices in terms of fighting viral spread. When you enter rehab, you’ll be in proximity to a limited number of people with little contact with potential viral threat vectors. Limiting contact is a proven means of limiting your chances of coming down with coronavirus, and your time spent in rehab will protect you from contact with a world that’s expected to see the rapid and continued spread of the virus. Even though your time spent in rehab will be limited, it will limit your exposure and improve the odds of you never having to deal with the virus’s potential spread.
Even those who can maintain limited contact while dealing with an active addiction will likely face another potential problem: isolation. Defeating substance abuse is best done with others, and a rehab environment will offer you a safe place to get the social support needed to get on the road to recovery. Fighting substance abuse alone will increase the temptation to use, and it increases the likelihood of dealing with anxiety or depression. Furthermore, you may be tempted to spend time in locations with other people who may put you at risk of contracting the virus. Rehab offers a much safer alternative.
Alcohol and drug rehab centers are regularly cleaned to prevent the disease from spreading, and those attending rehab can be assured of a safer physical environment. Studies indicate that the virus can survive for extended periods on certain surfaces, meaning there’s a risk in public places. Fortunately, regular cleaning is highly effective at destroying the virus, so you won’t have to deal with anxiety during day-to-day activities.
Forming a Long-Term Plan
Rehab focuses on your overall health, and the techniques you learn while in rehab can help you maintain your health even when your time in rehab has come to an end. Risk factors, especially for those over the age of 40, include smoking and obesity. Even if your primary goal is to cease abusing substances, you’ll also learn how to improve your health in other ways and develop the daily discipline you’ll need to meet your broader health goals. Rehab offers you a roadmap, and you’ll feel confident in your abilities to meet your health goals once you depart.
Setting Up a Support Network
Substance abuse is best fought with a support network, and you’ll learn how to build one while in rehab. This support group will help you avoid the temptation to use. Still, it will also give you access to people willing to listen should you feel anxious about the coronavirus or other potential health issues. Over time, you’ll also learn how to offer support to others in need, giving you a loving support network that offers invaluable motivation. Signing up for rehab sets you on the road to building valuable support for the coming months and years.
The best time to start rehab is now, and this is even more true with the spread of the coronavirus. If you or someone you know requires substance abuse help, make sure to reach out soon to set up a roadmap for success.