Drug addicts more Susceptible to COVID-19 Virus


Dr Kola Okunade, a Mental and Behavioural Medicine Specialist, stated in an interview.
“Since COVID-19 attacks the lungs, for drug users like smokers, their lungs are already affected due to frequent smoking.

“Drug use affects the immune system.

“So, individuals with weakened immune systems such as drug users might be at higher risk for infection and complications associated with COVID-19 infection.

“Also, for drug users, the issue of social distancing, wearing of face masks, regular handwashing or using of sanitisers are non of their concern.

“What matters to them is how to have access to the drugs, which is why all the resources are being channeled to getting the substances for consumption,” he said.

Okunade said that because most drug users already had underlying health conditions, which might be asthma, cardiac or cancer, would easily exposed them to COVID-19 and other deadly infections.

“The nation’s socioeconomic environment, joblessness, economic hardship and financial challenges are some of the factors that could lead to depression and possibly drug abuse.

“Drug abuse, as a multi-sectoral issue, requires efforts of all stakeholders in the society.

“But, if the government can make policies that would address the economic challenges in the country, the rate of drug abuse might reduce to a great extent,” he said.

Earlier, the NGO’s Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Veronica Ezeh, said that the event was meant to educate and improve the understanding of parents, organisations, governments and the public about drug abuse.

Ezeh said that the fight against drug abuse and other crimes should not be left for governments, NGOs or security authorities alone, but should be everybody’s business.