Another reason to “just say no” –  

November 10, 2020 – In terms of complications, the hospitalization rate for people with substance use disorder was 41%, compared to about 30% for those without it. The death rate was 9.6% for people with substance abuse disorder and 6.6% for those without.

Why the disparity? “The lungs and cardiovascular system are often compromised in people with (substance use disorder), which may partially explain their heightened susceptibility to COVID-19,” Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in a prepared statement.

 “Another contributing factor is the marginalization of people with addiction, which makes it harder for them to access health care services,” she said.

Meanwhile, African Americans with a recent opioid use disorder diagnosis were over four times more likely to develop COVID-19, compared to whites. According to the study, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and renal disease — all risk factors for COVID-19 — were more prevalent among African Americans than white people with an opioid addiction.  Researchers substance use disorders investigated in the study: alcohol, tobacco, opioid, cannabis and cocaine. They studied data collected from the electronic health records of patients at 360 hospitals across the nation.

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