Mourning the Loss Of Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek, a Pioneer in Addiction Treatment Research.

Mourning the Loss Of Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek, a Pioneer in Addiction Treatment Research.

The CDC has identified many health conditions that increase a person's chance of getting COVID-19-related severe illness. Substance use disorders (SUDs) are one of them. As a result, being immunized is crucial for sober living people who use or are addicted to drugs. Because sober living individuals with substance use disorders may be hesitant to receive vaccination because of the previous stigma from the healthcare system as a result of their addiction, community leaders, healthcare practitioners, and others in the community must play a role in supporting and enabling vaccination for sober living individuals with substance use disorders. 

COVID-19 infection is more likely in people with SUD, according to a growing body of research: My colleagues and I discovered that people with SUDs, particularly those who had recently been diagnosed, were considerably more likely than the general population to have COVID-19 or suffer its severe consequences; this was especially true for Black people. Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston revealed similar links between SUDs and COVID-19 vulnerability in studies conducted in Korea and New York City, as well as an examination of data from 54,529 patients. Furthermore, these investigations found that substance use-related chronic cardiovascular or respiratory illnesses may contribute to this enhanced sensitivity. 


Anyone in the United States above the age of 12 is now eligible to receive the vaccine. Importantly, immunization cannot be refused because of underlying health problems, such as substance abuse or a substance use disorder. Vaccines are given out free of charge by communities and health systems around the country, regardless of immigration status or health insurance coverage. Even more crucially, the office visit or any other fee cannot be charged to recipients. The FDA has approved three vaccines, all of which are considered equally On the other side, vaccine-related anxieties, mistrust of the government and pharmaceutical business, and disinformation are deterring many individuals from taking the potentially life-saving step of immunization. People who have a history of drug abuse by healthcare practitioners may be particularly concerned about vaccines. Effective and safe by the scientific community. 







The Addiction Policy Forum (APF) conducted a poll last year in which over half of the sample of sober living people with substance use disorders (who were currently using drugs, in treatment, or in recovery) stated that they would not be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Most respondents were skeptical of the government, concerned with how quickly vaccines were being created, and skeptical of the increased risk associated with immunizations, among other sentiments. 

However, respondents to the APF survey said they trust their own doctor more than anybody else when it comes to making healthcare decisions, which is consistent with past surveys showing that people believe their doctors when it comes to COVID-19 and vaccination information. As trusted messengers, health practitioners are ideally positioned to persuade patients of the vaccines' safety as well as the several important benefits of immunization. 

There is no evidence that COVID-19 immunizations are less safe or effective in people who use drugs, have SUDs, or are taking addiction medication. And the advantages for these people go far beyond reducing their chances of contracting COVID-19 or suffering its most serious outcomes. Immunization, in particular, promotes safe reconnection with others. Isolation raises the risk of relapse, which is why many recovery organizations have had to stop holding in-person meetings in the last year. Virtual meetings have saved the lives of some people; for others, they are unsatisfactory alternatives for face-to-face sessions and may even be impossible. Vaccination will thereby restore normalcy, including improved availability of social support, for persons suffering from addiction or maybe other mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety that have been exacerbated by isolation stress. 

Individuals who use drugs won't have to worry about their privacy when getting a vaccine because they won't have to divulge any previous or current drug use. Providers that administer the COVID-19 vaccine will not ask about your drug use. Recipients will not be asked to reveal their medical history, with the exception of known vaccine sensitivities or immune- or blood-related illnesses that may impair their capacity to receive a vaccination. A pre-vaccination screening form developed by the CDC can be downloaded for free. 


Healthcare providers, pharmacies, treatment centers, and anybody else involved in the immunization campaign should make a point of reaching out to drug users in their community. Immunizations should be accessible at opioid treatment clinics and syringe-services programs, for example. Walk-in immunization clinics are now available in select areas to help persons with busy schedules and living circumstances. 

Specialized techniques to provide addiction therapy and medications to those suffering from substance use disorders were used during the pandemic, including mobile vans that distributed opioid use disorder prescriptions to patients on the go, which might be used to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as well. Patients can be educated and motivated to get vaccinated using telehealth technologies, which are increasingly being used for medication management. Treatment facilities and other experts can also reach patients using a text message. With cooperation from the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts, APF established a Vaccine Navigator to help persons in addiction recovery with opioid problems navigate local vaccine scheduling complexities and address any concerns they may have about immunization. 

Watch the APF film I developed with Dr. Fauci to learn more about vaccinations, their development, and the importance of immunization. 


For more information about addiction, smoking, and alcohol, go to: Addiction Science, Tobacco/Nicotine and E-Cigs, and Alcohol. 


Our sober house directory is a terrific location to start your search, but eventually, you must select which one is the best fit for you. Even if accreditation and a strong first impression are fantastic beginning points, you should do further research before making a decision. Don't hesitate to ask questions! Although there are many good sober living homes to choose from, we recommend Vanderburgh House because they were involved in the development of this guide. 


Vanderburgh Communities, the first organization in the United States to issue sober living charters, may give you more information if you've ever wondered what it's like to run a sober house. Keep a good attitude and take each day as it comes! 









NIDA. (2021, June 11). Nora's Blog. Nora's Blog Encourage People with Substance Use Disorders to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19. Retrieved 8 25, 2021, from 

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