COVID-19 and Addiction

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What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a specific type of coronavirus that has not been previously seen. Coronaviruses were first identified in the 1960s. The name came from the crown-like spikes that appear on their surface. More common coronaviruses can cause illnesses such as the common cold or mild upper-respiratory infections. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, meaning it has not been identified before. The “CO” represents corona, the “VI” is for virus, and the “D” stands for disease. The “19” represents 2019, when it was first identified in Wuhan, China.  The virus is spreading person to person and is spreading easily with symptoms appearing 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Emergency warning signs include difficulty breathing, consistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face. If you experience any of these emergency warning signs, seek medical attention immediately.

In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, many places are encouraging social distancing or quarantine if you have been exposed. Self-quarantine after possible exposure will help prevent the virus from spreading. If you begin experiencing symptoms, the CDC recommends calling your health care provider for medical assistance. Some people are able to recover at home from the coronavirus, and by calling your doctor, they can provide you with a course of action. Together, you will monitor your symptoms to determine if you need to go to the hospital or if you can safely recover at home.

Help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home, if possible. To help protect yourself, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are unable to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer. Do your best to avoid contact with people that are sick. To help protect others, stay home if you are sick. If you are coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow and wash your hands after. Clean and disinfect any surfaces that may be touched frequently, such as tables, doorknobs, phones, bathrooms, or any other dirty surfaces.

Addiction can put you at a higher risk for Coronavirus

People with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to contracting coronavirus. If you have a weak immune system, the virus can be more severe and, in some cases, deadly. The COVID-19 strain of coronavirus attacks the lungs, and people who smoke tobacco, marijuana, or vape could contract more serious symptoms due to their lungs being compromised. Abuse of drugs such as methamphetamines or opioids could also compromise your respiratory health and make you more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. Sharing cigarettes, needles, joints, or anything else can put you at greater risk of being exposed to the coronavirus. Abuse of drugs or alcohol will weaken your immune system and put you at greater risk for the spread of viruses and diseases, and you may experience more severe symptoms.

COVID-19 Should not Prevent you from going to Rehab

Many cities, states, and countries are opting for social distancing or quarantine to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. With these protocols in place, you may be thinking that you should wait to go to rehab to get help. Rehabs, such as DreamLife Recovery, are still open and accepting new patients. Do not wait to get the help you need if you are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. The world may be focused on preventing and treating coronavirus, but we are still here to help you overcome your addiction.

Get Help at DreamLife Recovery

DreamLife Recovery, located in Donegal, PA, is a rehab facility with detox, MAT, residential, and aftercare programs to treat alcohol or drug addiction and co-occurring disorders with addiction. We will continue to help people struggling with addiction and doing everything we can to get people the help they need. DreamLife has protocols in place to protect our staff, patients, and future patients from the spread of COVID-19. We are taking new patients and screening them prior to admittance for any COVID-19 symptoms. Please call our admissions team at (844) 402-3592 or fill out a contact form if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and need help.


  1. Frequently Asked Questions – Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  2. “Human Coronavirus Types” – Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  3. “Symptoms of Coronavirus” – Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 February, 2021
  4. “COVID-19: Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 6 Apr. 2020, Accessed 7 Apr. 2021