COVID-19 is challenging drug and alcohol addiction in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a higher death rate. Sadly when it comes to death; drug addiction has taken way more than its fair share of victims. Not just in South Florida either. In 2018, more than 67,300 Americans died from a drug-induced overdose. This includes illicit drugs and prescription opioids but notably does not include alcohol. If we were to add alcohol-related deaths to the numbers, there would be thousands more.
The simple fact is that in 2018 drug addiction caused more deaths annually than just about any other medical condition, and drug addiction in Fort Lauderdale continues to take lives. However; beginning in January of 2020, the world learned about a new killer, and as COVID 19 continues its worldwide spread, its killing hundreds of thousands of people.
If we were to compare drug addiction in Fort Lauderdale with the COVID virus, reality would suggest that other than causing the death of tens of thousands of victims, addiction and COVID 19 really do not have much in common; or do they?
Is Drug Addiction in Fort Lauderdale a Choice?
Now here is a question that has been asked hundreds of times, and the answer has changed over the years. Prior to the turn of the century, (especially during the ’70’s – 90’s “war on drugs”) the overwhelming answer to the question was yes. The reason being that addiction was still considered a crime, and our society supports the notion that everyone has the power to choose whether or not to commit a crime. However; as the result of advancing medical technology coupled with the devastating opiate crisis, beliefs about addiction began to change.
As we ask the question of whether drug addiction is a choice, let’s also ask the same of COVID 19. And of course, the resounding answer is NO… of course not… who would ever choose to get COVID 19? What a crazy question! So basically no one believes that COVID 19 is a choice.
Well, folks; hold on just a minute! Speaking for myself – after many years of sobriety, attending a 30-day residential treatment and rehab, working at a rehab, going to 1000’s of 12 step meetings and speaking with 1000’s of addicts and alcoholics – I am still waiting to meet the first one who “chose” to become an alcoholic or drug addict. So with that being said, I think that is safe to proceed with the belief that addiction (of any kind) is NOT a choice. However; the question begs to be asked – can the right or wrong choices contribute to either addiction or contracting COVID 19?
COVID 19 Vs. Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Fort Lauderdale?
To make the point, we present the following two facts…
FACT NUMBER 1: If you never have a first drink or a first drug, you will not become an alcoholic or drug addict.
FACT NUMBER 2: If you quarantine yourself until a vaccine is found you will not get COVID 19.
The two facts presented above require making personal choices that every American is capable of making. But are they practical? Quarantining until a vaccine is available is probably not be the most practical for most, but it is “doable.” The same goes for drugs and alcohol… it may not be 100% practical, but – never having a taste of alcohol or a puff of weed is definitely “doable.” We can, therefore, conclude that – YES – the right choices can prevent both diseases, but in practical terms, this level of discipline may actually be unrealistic.
When we dig a little deeper, we discover that both of the above choices have strong social implications. Quarantining to avoid COVID 19 doesn’t mean just social distancing – it means social isolation. Similarly, (assuming no family history of addiction) never tasting alcohol or weed may also be socially isolating, and as human beings, our nature is to socialize – it’s in our DNA.
On April 6, 2020 the National Institute on Drug Abuse issued the following warning;
“As people across the U.S. and the rest of the world contend with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the research community should be alert to the possibility that it could hit some populations with substance use disorders (SUDs) particularly hard.”
It’s a fact that victims of addiction have a higher instance of other health related issues than non-addicted folks. Addicts are also ten times more likely to be homeless and unable to properly quarantine or socially distance themselves. These conditions pose a substantially higher risk to both addicts and the people around them. In many cases that could mean their parents, grandparents and siblings.
Victims of Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Fort Lauderdale Can Make Good Choices
At our inpatient drug rehabs Fort Lauderdale, Florida addiction treatment centers we are concerned. The COVID-19 has also brought serious problems with maintaining long-term sobriety. In this article we have discussed the international spread of COVID 19 and the death associated with it. We have also discussed the death rate among victims of addiction. There is no doubt, that in 2020 COVID 19 will claim more victims than addiction. In fact, COVID 19 is already responsible for more deaths worldwide than any other cause. We cannot predict or even guess beyond 2020.
We can reasonably conclude that of all of the many reasons an addict might want to enter rehab and get sober, COVID 19 is just one more. But when it comes to recovery, it only takes that one specific circumstance to encourage an addict to take the first step.
The Source addiction treatment center helps victims of alcohol and drug addiction in Fort Lauderdale and from around the country. They have taken extraordinary steps to provide a safe and sanitary environment. Call them today at (800) 204-0418.