Epidemic vs. Pandemic COVID-19 has pushed a new word into our vocabularies: \u201cpandemic.\u201d Sadly, it\u2019s not the only public health emergency facing the United States. One of the most challenging remains the epidemic of drug abuse, which has claimed more than one million lives over the past two decades. For individuals struggling with addiction, what\u2019s the relative threat of epidemic vs. pandemic? How do the two compare? They are, of course, separate and distinct. But the pandemic offers important considerations for people fighting the recovery battle. Drug abuse compromises your immune system, making you a prime target for the virus and other infections as well. People in addiction treatment and recovery stand a better chance of surviving COVID-19 than their addicted peers. Treatment is key to bolstering your body\u2019s defenses. Drug Abuse Epidemic Drug abuse has been at epidemic proportions for a long time. The focus of the discussion of late has been the skyrocketing abuse of prescription opioids and heroin. An estimated 20 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 12 used some form of illicit drug in 2018, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. As many as 2 million people sought treatment in that same year. In 2018 alone, according to the CDC, the United States recorded more than 67,000 drug overdose deaths. The overdose epidemic touches every state in the union, at a staggering cost of more than $600 billion nationally. Epidemic vs. Pandemic To be fair, the pandemic has yet to reach its peak. But we do know much about COVID-19 and the problems it creates for a person\u2019s respiratory system. The illness can settle in a person's lungs, leading to difficult-to-treat pneumonia. Someone who uses drugs likely has already weakened their respiratory system through smoking, vaping, or the use of other drugs such as crack cocaine. They become a prime target for the coronavirus. Substance abusers also suffer from kidney, liver, and heart conditions. Another factor is lifestyle. People with substance abuse disorders tend to live an unstable existence, going from shelters to treatment to hospitals to jails and back \u2013 all environments that include groups of people. Clearly, you lower your chances of fighting off the coronavirus if you abuse substances. And so, in the comparison of epidemic vs. pandemic, the epidemic is giving the pandemic a head start. It doesn\u2019t have to be this way. Treating the Pandemic If you are struggling with substance abuse, it's more important than ever to consider getting help. Across the United States, there are more than 14,500 treatment centers. Most individuals seek help at outpatient centers. But that may change as the coronavirus spreads, as people increasingly look to avoid crowds. Long-term residential treatment, which lasts anywhere from six months to a year, is likely to become in greater demand. Short-term treatment may also be harder to find as it usually includes an outpatient component. The point is, don\u2019t wait for treatment. Get on the road to recovery at Lucida Treatment now, so you do not have to fight the epidemic vs. pandemic battle. Getting the Help You Need The statistics of the drug abuse epidemic are so large and so common, we\u2019ve almost become desensitized to them. Barely a day goes by without some reference in the media to the impact of drugs, whether through violence, overdose, or arrest. Now, with the new threat of COVID-19, the urgency to seek treatment and begin the road to recovery has never been greater. Contact Lucida Treatment at and make a comparison between epidemic vs. pandemic irrelevant.