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Did Addiction Rates Go Up During the Pandemic?


Illicit drug addiction continues to be a problem across the United States. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 50% of people 12 and older have used an illicit drug at least once. The COVID pandemic was a big test for those who were trying to shed their addiction. People were stuck inside without much support, so if they were to relapse, this was a prime chance for them to do it. Did it happen? Read on to learn more.

Addiction Rates Incrreased

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the pandemic was a prime reason for people lapsing back into addiction. This happened early on when individuals were isolated and having trouble coping with the stress and uncertainty that COVID-19 brought daily. Those individuals tried to numb themselves by using alcohol and various drugs.

Abstaining Only Worked So Much

A survey by revealed some facts related to drug use during the pandemic. 48% of the people who responded said that they had increased their drug use during this time, and 32% said it marked a relapse period after they hadn’t taken any drugs for a while. Even more jarring was the 15% who said they had overdosed at least once after the pandemic and the lockdowns began.

The pandemic presented such a huge challenge to both health workers and those suffering from addiction. There was no semblance of normalcy, and there were no in-person support systems, especially when it came to getting medical help. That’s because entire wards of hospitals were COVID-19 patients, and that made other areas of medicine have to wait. Elective surgeries were canceled. Therefore, it was a prime time for rates to skyrocket.

Eventually, “normalcy” began when stores and clinics re-opened and precautions were put in place. People who were addicted to drugs were able to get in-person help again. Now, rates seem to be reverting to what they were before the pandemic. For some time, the world turned upside down, and it was the drug users who suffered since they had seemingly no other way to escape the isolation of quarantine.

Do you live in Florida and need help getting sober? We’re an addiction and mental health clinic, and our services include detox, recovery, pain management, and more. Contact Peace Medical today to learn more about how we can get you on the path to sobriety.

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