Substance abuse has always been a significant issue. But the pandemic fueled the flames. With many people alone at home, bored and depressed, drugs served as a recreational activity and a way to temporarily relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

After more than two years of dealing with the coronavirus, we have gotten a better handle on it. But many people have formed a habit that’s difficult to overcome. This article will look at substance use during the pandemic and what you can do if you or a loved one is dealing with dependency issues.

How Did COVID-19 Impact Addiction Rates? 

When the pandemic began, many people were forced to stay in their homes. Businesses had shut down their doors or were forced to operate through online means only. People were advised to keep away from friends and family for fear of spreading the virus.

But there was one thing people still had access to drugs. The illegal drug industry paid little heed to the shutdowns, and dealers were still out in full force. And online operations made it possible to access alcohol and other types of meds.

Drugs quickly became a recreational activity that took over the many business closures. It also temporarily relieved feelings of depression and anxiety caused by people not being able to see their loved ones and being uncertain about their financial situations. 

According to statistics:

  • Nearly one-third of people who drink have increased their alcohol consumption since the pandemic’s beginning. 
  • Nearly 30% of people that took drugs increased their drug activity. 
  • Overdose deaths rose by 27% in the first year of the pandemic.

What are Some Trends of Substance Abuse During the Pandemic? 

The pandemic saw not only a rise in substance abuse, but new trends in the substances used and how they were used. Here are some trends to look out for. 

  • Chemsex: Chemsex involves using drugs to enhance the sexual experience. 
  • A Rise in Illegal Psychotropic Drugs: During the pandemic, people had limited access to doctors. Many who became addicted to prescription medications began sourcing them on the street, increasing the chances of taking drugs cut with more dangerous substances than the drug itself. 
  • Drugs Being Sold on the Dark Web: With people wanting to refrain from face-to-face contact, many drugs are sold on the dark web, which also increases the risk of dangerous substitutions. 
  • Increased Use of Synthetic Opioids and Designer Benzodiazepines: These have become more popular because they can be purchased online. 
  • Increased Use of Psychotropic Drugs: Since people were in solitude more often, they avoided more social drugs, opting instead for psychotropic drugs that can be consumed in solitude. 
  • Increased Chance of Serious COVID Symptoms: COVID is known to affect the respiratory system. It can be especially bad in people that smoke heroin and do crack cocaine as these drugs often cause asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Opioids also have respiratory depressant effects making users vulnerable to long COVID or COVID-related deaths. 
  • More Treatment Programs, Including Online Programs: Substance abuse has gotten worse since the start of COVID, but providers are responding by making more treatment options available. These include digital programs that allow patients to get the treatment they need online. 

How to Find Addiction Treatment Programs Near You

If you or someone you love has developed a habit during the pandemic, there are several facilities that offer help. But it can be difficult to find the one that’s right for you. You must think about the type of care offered, the atmosphere, success rates, etc. 

You can spend hours trying to find a suitable facility, or you can save yourself time by calling My Recovery Source first. 

My Recovery Source is a free resource that specializes in matching people with a rehab facility that’s right for them. They offer assistance regardless of your financial and personal situation and location. They can help you or a loved one find the comprehensive care you need. Substance abuse is a problem that has gotten worse since the pandemic began. My Recovery Source can help you leave your dependency issues behind. Contact us to get on a path to overcoming your addiction.

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