Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Drug Use: What’s the Connection?
Last Updated: Friday November 5, 2021
(NIDA Blog Team, April 27) A coronavirus is one type of virus; colds and flu are also caused by viruses. The disease caused by this coronavirus is called COVID-19. It’s a respiratory disease, which means it attacks the lungs and affects a person’s breathing. (For more information on coronavirus and COVID-19, visit coronavirus.gov.)
We know that smoking, vaping, using meth, or misusing opioids can all have an impact on the lungs. People whose lungs have been affected by drug use may be at higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19. For example:
- When a person vapes or smokes, they inhale (breathe in) several poisonous chemicals.
- Using meth causes a person’s blood vessels to constrict (get smaller). This can harm the lungs.
- Opioids slow down a person’s breathing, putting the user at risk of life-threatening or fatal overdose. Using opioids may also dangerously decrease oxygen in the blood. Read more on NIDA's site.