Currently, drug shortages are getting worse each day in the USA due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The effects of coronavirus pandemic in China have negatively affected its economy, forcing medicine manufacturers to close down its business temporarily. Approximately 90 percent of the active ingredients required by American drug manufacturers come from China.
The Federal Drug and Food Administration (FDA) is at the moment supervising supplies of about 20 drugs, which are produced mainly in China as a way of managing the drug shortage issue. The supplies include blood pressure medications and generic antibiotics.
Effects on Drug Shortages on People in Addiction Recovery
Many people undergoing addiction recovery depend on prescription drugs as a form of medication-assisted treatment. Such drugs are essential during alcohol and drug detox, or when controlling withdrawal symptoms. Patients who had already started medical detox and in their final recovery process might encounter high chances of relapse if they were using prescriptions to control cravings. Relapsing during recovery is a common challenge, especially if the medications to manage withdrawal are not available.
Also, people who use prescription medications should stock them from supplies, if possible. Unfortunately, some patients are not actively renewing prescriptions or looking for care since they are afraid of contacting coronavirus when they leave their houses.
For anyone experiencing severe discomfort in the body from withdrawal symptoms or complications from drug abuse, it can be hazardous. Therefore, at the moment, people in addiction recovery should find all the possible means of restocking their prescriptions due to imminent drug shortages.
Consequences of Drug Shortages for Addicts
Experts state the effects of coronavirus pandemic may force drug users to move from less dangerous drug-consumption methods to intravenous approaches. Additionally, people who experience active and addiction disorders due to the lack of drugs will most likely find out alternative ways to get their medicines. This action can make them use life-threatening combinations of interacting drugs as they ignorantly try to look for alternatives.
Also, many services provided by addiction rehabs may be inaccessible due to social distancing. Such cases may even tempt some users to overdose alone since nobody is monitoring them.
Drug shortages are also causing excessive use among users. One crucial concern among experts is the dangerous use of fentanyl, which is creating lots of chaos in America. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is more than 50 times stronger than heroin and can be transported in much smaller quantities. Usually, the Chinese manufacture it, but recently, little shipping services are originating from the country.
Fentanyl is a drug most commonly overdosed in the USA, as reported by the National Center for Health Statistics. For instance, the rate of opioid overdoses increased rapidly by about 113% annually from 2013 through 2016. Consuming both heroin and fentanyl increases the extreme risks of overdose.
For the coming weeks and months, as the effects of coronavirus continue causing drug shortages, it will be crucial to identify its impact on illegal drug use and the outcome that faces all Americans. However, the government is doing all it can to control the spread of COVID-19, and eventually, normalcy may resume as long as the COVID-19 infections decrease.