Throughout the country, all of us are still trying to adjust to the new normal created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the vaccine is rolling out, there’s hope in the air that things might start to return to the way they were.
The COVID-19 vaccine can give you peace of mind and protect you against the virus. However, people who are currently struggling with substance abuse are wondering whether the vaccine has any interactions with drugs or alcohol.
In this post, we’re going to take a detailed look at the interactions the COVID-19 has with alcohol and drugs. That way, you’ll have accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine moving forward. If you’re struggling with substance abuse, it’s important to talk with your doctor before moving forward with any medical procedure.
Why People with Substance Abuse Should Get the Vaccine
Before we get into the interactions between the COVID-19 vaccine and substance abuse, we need to mention the importance of the vaccine. According to the CDC, having a substance abuse disorder increases your risk for not only getting COVID-19, but it makes you more likely to get severely sick from the virus.
When you combine some of the side effects of substance abuse with COVID-19 symptoms, it can pose a serious threat to your health. For example, opioid abuse can slow your breathing — and when’s that combined with shortness of breath from COVID-19, you’re more likely to need medical care to ensure you’re getting enough oxygen.
Since substance abuse is known to lower the effectiveness of your immune system, the COVID-19 vaccine is highly recommended. In fact, The New England Journal of Medicine suggests anyone struggling with substance abuse should be given priority for the vaccine.
The COVID-19 Vaccine and Alcohol Use
When the first wave of the COVID-19 vaccine was administered across the country, medical professionals started to consider possible interactions with alcohol. The professional opinion on this issue changed over time. At first, many medical professionals recommended people abstain from moderate drinking before being vaccinated. The thought was that since alcohol weakens your immune system, you want it to be in peak condition so the vaccine can have full effectiveness.
While low or moderate drinking doesn’t seem to be an issue after further research, heavy drinking should be avoided around the time of the vaccination. While there’s no research yet on alcohol abuse and the COVID-19 vaccine, we know that vaccines in general don’t respond well to heavy alcohol use.
Some studies have even shown that heavy alcohol use after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine can seriously reduce your immune system’s response and potentially render the vaccine ineffective.
Medical professionals recommend you avoid drinking for at least a week before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can make it difficult for you to stop drinking. The good news is that addiction treatment centers like The Raleigh House can help you with professional alcohol detox.
The Relationship Between the COVID-19 Vaccine and Drug Abuse
Given how new the COVID-19 vaccine is, there isn’t much information about how it reacts to the various types of illicit drugs. Medical professionals are more concerned about people getting the vaccine than the low risk of interaction between the substances. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that many people struggling with drug abuse are hesitant about receiving the vaccine.
Since quarantine began, there has been a spike in the number of deaths linked to COVID-19 and drug abuse. It’s part of the reason why many leading COVID-19 doctors consider anyone with substance abuse an essential person for the vaccine. Contact your doctor to see how you can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine in your area while talking through any concerns you might have over your drug use.
Find Hope for Lasting Recovery and Healing
At The Raleigh House, we know how devasting the COVID-19 pandemic has been for anyone struggling with substance abuse. If you’re looking for a professional treatment center to help you break free from drugs or alcohol, we’re here to support you.
Lasting recovery is possible, and we will give you the space and understanding to heal from addiction. Our professional staff can help you detox from drugs or alcohol and even help diagnose any underlying mental health conditions that might be fueling your addiction.
Contact our team today to begin your journey toward lasting sobriety.