Alcohol Relapse Increases Risk of Contracting Coronavirus

alcohol relapse

Billions of people fear contracting the coronavirus known as COVID-19, and for rational reasons. Millions of people in addiction recovery have the same concern, but they are also worried about the strength of their program. Such individuals lack the resources they could always rely on and are forced to meet with their support network online or by phone.

With 672,303 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, attending a meeting in person is risky. Even if a meetinghouse is diligent about sanitizing surfaces, requiring face masks, and social distancing, contracting the virus is still possible.

The recovery community must be exceptionally cautious about attending meetings in person. Moreover, many members can benefit from eating nutritious foods, exercising, and possibly taking supplements to boost one’s immune system. COVID-19 preys upon people with weakened immune systems.

Years of heavy active drug and alcohol use have left a large number of the recovery population with compromised immune systems. Physical health problems are a common vestige of one’s addictive past. For instance, if you have a lung condition or respiratory issues, then please do not gamble with your health and safety. Take full advantage of online 12 Step meetings to mitigate the risk of contracting a virus that has led to the death of 33,898 Americans.

Keeping your recovery intact can also protect you from becoming vulnerable to the virus. A relapse, followed by a continued drug and alcohol abuse, will weaken your immune system. Sadly, the state of each of our lives almost guarantees a rise in relapse rates.

“The rises in anxiety and [depression] being anticipated are also accompanied by an expected increase in substance misuse as people cope with loneliness, isolation and potential unemployment,” said a spokesperson for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMHSA).

Alcohol Use Compromises Your Immune System

No amount of alcohol is good for human beings despite some myths about drinking wine. Ethanol is a poison that can clean surfaces and power motor vehicles; it has the power to wreak havoc on the mind, body, and spirit.

While this is not a good time for people to do anything that could jeopardize one’s health, Americans are drinking more alcohol than ever. Sheltering in place and social distancing can be depressing and boring, and millions of Americans are opting to respond to our new way of life by consuming alcohol.

There is a mind-boggling rise in the sale of alcohol in America due to “stay at home” orders. When you add in the fact that 22 million more Americans find themselves out of work, it’s little wonder that alcohol sales rose 55 percent in the first week (ending March 21) that sheltering in place went in effect, according to the market research firm Nielsen.

Below, you will find a breakdown on how alcohol sales differ from the same week last year:

  • Spirits sales increased by 75 percent.
  • Beer went up by 66 percent
  • Wine rose by 42 percent.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reaffirms the dangers of increased alcohol use amid a pandemic. WHO states that alcohol weakens the body’s immune system and lowers one’s inhibitions, which can lead to risky behaviors, according to a press release. Both increase a person’s risk of contracting COVID-19. WHO states:

“Alcohol consumption is associated with a range of communicable and noncommunicable diseases and mental health disorders, which can make a person more vulnerable to COVID-19. In particular, alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes. Therefore, people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The organization reminds us that alcohol use contributes to 3 million deaths each year. Now, they want the world to know it can put you at risk of contracting a deadly pathogen.

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment in California

With the above information in mind, those in recovery for alcohol use disorder will want to protect their program. Relapsing with alcohol does not only derail your recovery, but it also places you at a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19. Please do everything in your power to safeguard your health and recovery during these trying times.

Please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage retreat if you are in the grips of an alcohol use disorder. Our Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital (CDRH) is following CDC coronavirus guidelines. We can help you break the cycle of addiction and set you on the path toward lasting recovery.