We're sure you've been inundated with COVID-19 these days, and for good reason. However, we would be remiss if we didn't share why people suffering with addictions are at higher risk, not only for contracting the illness, but in their ability to fight it off.
By now we all know that COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory virus that can live on most surfaces for days. Symptoms include a cough, fever, and shortness of breath, or a person can be a carrier with no symptoms at all. Although most people will recover, many will die, particularly those who are older, immune or health compromised, or those with respiratory conditions.
This virus makes those with addictions more vulnerable in two ways:
People who smoke or vape nicotine or marijuana, drink excessively, or use opioids or methamphetamines, are in more danger because these substances may have already compromised their health with illnesses such as COPD, cancer, immune suppression, or cardiovascular disease. This makes them more likely to experience serious symptoms and complications if they get COVID-19.
Those with addictions have a higher incidence of homelessness or incarceration, which increases the risk of contracting the virus. The recommended "social distancing" to curb further spreading of COVID-19 is almost impossible without control of their environment.
An already vulnerable and stigmatized group of people, many fighting life and death on a daily basis, now have to endure an additional risk of death.
At times like these, healthcare systems need to turn toward more remote services to support the needs of at-risk populations. Keeping this in mind, the Compris Assessment© is the safest way to help those with addictions start their journey toward health and still keep "social distance" to minimize the contraction of COVID-19. The Compris Assessment© enables providers to obtain patient results via email within minutes of online completion, Other online tools including tele-health and contingency management software can be prescribed to address their ongoing needs.
Not only is the assessment more comprehensive than what is currently available, it provides addiction diagnostics for at risk populations, along with recommendations for prevention and treatment next steps that providers may use to better serve the needs of their patients. Compris's level of care placement and treatment guidance include greater specificity at the confluence of illness prevention, acuity, severity, lifelong risk, and resilience. Recommendations target both emergent and ongoing concerns of treatment specialists, ER and primary care providers, criminal justice and the military.
Please spread the word about COVID-19 and addictions, and help us more effectively support this already vulnerable group of people. Contact us or share us on your social media.
Joyce Ann and Calvin McGinn