The current COVID-19 epidemic is colliding with our countries opioid epidemic in powerful ways. Because of the negative impact opioids have on lung and heart health, people who use opioids at high levels may be more susceptible to COVID-19, or the illness may be more severe. The pandemic also presents another challenges, such as treatment options for those seeking help for addiction disorders. Those with opioid use disorder (OUD) may already have a compromised breathing ability, due to the drugs ability to slow breathing by acting in the brainstem.
The director of the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), Dr. Nora Volkow, has provided many resources to navigate this new complication. To learn more about the complications of OUD and COVID-19, you can visit the links provided below.