In light of the growing Coronavirus pandemic, getting treatment for your substance use disorder is more important now than ever. If you currently struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol, your chances of suffering serious complications as a result of COVID-19 infection are notably higher. Addiction and your physical health go hand in hand: when addiction is present, your health goes downhill. Attending drug and alcohol detox can improve your physical health during times of uncertainty.
If you’re worried about contracting the virus and suffering from potentially life-threatening complications, here’s what you should know:
What’s the Relationship Between Addiction and Your Physical Health?
If you struggle with excessive alcohol consumption or drug addiction, your immune system is not in an optimal state. That’s because of drugs and alcohol that act on multiple immune system pathways, thereby lowering your body’s ability to fight any infection successfully. Here’s just a sampling of the detrimental effects that drugs and alcohol can have on your immune system:
- Decreased white blood cell count
- Increased inflammatory response, usually systemic
- Decreased macrophage activity
- Lowered lymphocyte activity
- Decreased natural killer cell activity
- Reduced T cell count and activity
What does all of that mean? Essentially, it means that your body’s quantity of naturally occurring infection-fighting cells decreases when you repeatedly use drugs or alcohol. Even worse, because Coronavirus is considered a novel virus your body has no natural immunity to it.
What exactly does “novel virus” mean? It simply refers to the fact that the virus originated in animals and then mutated to pass between humans. Bottom line? Even people with relatively healthy immune systems have difficulty fighting the virus. If you have a compromised immune system, combating the infection becomes significantly more difficult. A medication-assisted treatment program can monitor and improve your health during detox.
Beyond Immunity: Addiction and Your Physical Health
Outside of your body’s ability to fight infection, addiction and your physical health go hand in hand in many other ways. Substance use disorders have highly damaging effects on numerous bodily systems, including:
- Significantly increased blood pressure
- Cardiovascular difficulties
- Muscle wasting
- Digestive system complications
- Reduced lung capacity
- Dysregulation of normal hormone balance
- Nervous system damage
It’s important to keep in mind that your body is a holistic functional unit. Optimal performance in any one system requires that the other systems are firing on all cylinders, too. Ultimately, when you damage one or more systems through substance abuse, you decrease every other system’s ability to function.
Think about it: If you reduce your lung capacity as a result of smoking, your heart cannot properly oxygenate your blood. When your blood doesn’t contain enough oxygen, it cannot deliver adequate nutrients to the rest of your body. And when your body can’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs, your potential for serious complications due to COVID-19 skyrockets.
If you struggle with substance abuse, your addiction and your physical health should be of paramount concern in the midst of this health crisis. Taking proper care of the only body you’ll ever have is essential, not only for your ability to fight infections but also for your long-term health and happiness. Though Coronavirus has brought about a highly stressful global situation, turning to drugs or alcohol to cope won’t do you any favors. If there was ever a time to attend drug and alcohol detox programs, it’s now.
Struggling With Drug or Alcohol Abuse? Get Help Today
If you’re worried about your addiction and your physical health, now is the time to contact South Tampa Detox. Coronavirus is a serious condition with potentially fatal consequences for people with suppressed immune systems. Unfortunately, if you abuse drugs and alcohol, you fall into that category. If you’re ready to take back control of your health and future, there’s no better time than the present. We’re here for you — all you need to do is call 866.223.5241.