People with substance abuse among the most vulnerable during pandemic

9-Apr-2020 1:25 PM EDT, by Texas State University

Newswise — As the COVID-19 pandemic has rattled routines for both urban and rural residents, one group is fighting to gain ground while facing widespread shelter-in-place directives.

Dr. Ron Williams, Jr., associate professor in Texas State University’s Department of Health and Human Performance, is keeping a close eye on how the pandemic affects people who suffer from substance abuse disorders. “People who deal with substance disorders are definitely among a vulnerable group,” Williams said. “Cardio and respiratory issues are common issues for smokers who have some respiratory damage. People who use methamphetamine also have respiratory co-morbidity.”

One situation that often exacerbates many substance abuse issues is social isolation. “Social isolation is difficult on people in recovery,” Williams said. “For a lot of people, social isolation was linked to substance abuse before the pandemic. We are likely to see an increase in substance use disorders. Are people going to have access to the same healthcare services?”

 As people cope with social isolation, the development of smartphones, social media platforms and other communication avenues during the last decade have helped lessen the impact of isolation. “That is definitely a benefit of the time we are living in,” Williams said. “You can eliminate social isolation to a degree. A lot of local places are offering online group sessions. Social support is quite often an overlooked issue. Social support often becomes an important influence on recovery.”

Trying to gauge the pandemic's impact on sufferers of substance use disorder, the population as a whole and the healthcare system is a long-term proposition. “I don't know that we will know the impact for months or years,” Williams said. “As we have seen with every major economic downturn over history, they tend to lead to an increase in substance use as a coping mechanism.”

Much of Williams' research has to do with behavior. One of his current research interests is seeing the impact on people with substance use disorder who test positive for COVID-19. Is there going to be a higher mortality rate? “I don't think we have dealt with anything close to this,” Williams said.

One challenge within recovery involves trying to maintain a routine. As those daily routines have been turned upside down, Texas State faculty members have aimed to keep continuity in instruction through various methods – including mentoring each other when possible. “A lot of colleagues and I have moved classes and shared resources,” Williams said. “Teachers who have experience doing distance education are helping those who do not. Everyone is reacting on the fly.”

That has included spring university ceremonies being canceled and spring graduates being afforded the chance to participate in August commencement ceremonies. “It's challenging,” Williams said. “It's the new normal. My colleagues and I get frustrated. But we are not doing this for us. We are doing it for our students and their next steps. These are the cards we have been dealt.”

As sufferers of substance use disorder access telemedicine and other remote health resource options, Williams advises individuals and family members to keep tabs on insurance company policies connected to what is covered via treatment options and what is not. 

Within the scheduling and treatment adjustments, there is an obstacle that substance use disorder sufferers may continue to face: the stigma sometimes attached to treatment. “One of the things people in recovery deal with is the stigma of being in recovery,” Williams said. “That will be one of the issues going forward. “Is there going to be a stigma? Are they going to be able to receive compassionate care?”




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5584
Released: 7-May-2021 1:40 PM EDT
There is no evidence that vaccines could cause harm to people who have recovered from COVID-19
Newswise

An article published by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccination organization and widely shared on social media questions the need of vaccinating those who’ve already recovered from COVID-19. The article says there’s a "potential risk of harm, including death" in getting the vaccines. We report this claim as false. There is no evidence that vaccinating people who had previously had COVID is resulting in an increased risk of adverse events.

Newswise: Abbott.jpg
Released: 7-May-2021 1:00 PM EDT
FSU expert available to discuss intellectual property and COVID-19 vaccines
Florida State University

By: Bill Wellock | Published: May 7, 2021 | 11:55 am | SHARE: President Joe Biden has expressed his support for a World Trade Organization proposal to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.Florida State University law professor Frederick Abbott, the Edward Ball Eminent Scholar Professor of International Law, is available to comment on international intellectual property rights and global economic issues around the proposal.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 11-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 7-May-2021 1:00 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 11-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 7-May-2021 11:15 AM EDT
Asthma attacks plummeted among Black and hispanic/latinx individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Asthma attacks account for almost 50 percent of the cost of asthma care which totals $80 billion each year in the United States

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 11-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 7-May-2021 10:40 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 11-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 7-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Navigating the COVID-19 crisis to prevent pressure injuries: Learning health system helped one hospital adapt and update care in real time
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare systems scrambled to modify patient care processes – particularly when it came to strategies aimed at reducing the risk of hospital-related complications. A look at how one hospital applied its learning health system (LHS) framework to respond to a COVID-19-related increase in hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs) is presented in the May/June Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ), the peer-reviewed journal of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Newswise: Ultra-Fast COVID-19 Sensor Invented at Texas Tech Gets Boost Into International Markets
Released: 7-May-2021 8:55 AM EDT
Ultra-Fast COVID-19 Sensor Invented at Texas Tech Gets Boost Into International Markets
Texas Tech University

EviroTech LLC announced today (May 7) a $4 million investment into the company by 1701 Ventures GmbH of Göttingen, Germany, which will allow EviroTech to complete the final design, production startup and market introduction of its Ultra-Fast COVID-19 detection sensor.

Released: 7-May-2021 7:05 AM EDT
Rutgers Recruiting Participants for Pfizer COVID-19 Pediatric Vaccine Clinical Trial
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Rutgers has been selected as a clinical trial site for the global Pfizer-BioNTech research study to evaluate the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 6 months to 11 years. This is the third time Rutgers has served as a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial site for pharmaceutical companies. Last fall, it conducted trials for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.


Showing results

110 of 5584

close
34.5726