People with substance abuse disorders (SUDs), even if they are fully-vaccinated, are reportedly proving more susceptible to coronavirus cases, according to a new study published by World Psychology last week. SUDs include a dependence on alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, opioids and/or tobacco.
Vaccinated people who don’t suffer from an SUD can still expect to have about a 3.6% chance of contracting a case of coronavirus. Those odds reportedly double to 7% for those with SUDS according to the published study. The highest risk was observed in people who are heavily dependent on smoking cannabis. Heavy marijuana smokers saw their risk of a breakthrough infection climb to 7.8, the highest rate of all the SUDs observed.
“Patients with cannabis use disorder, who were younger and had less comorbidities than the other SUD subtypes, had higher risk for breakthrough infection even after they were matched for adverse socioeconomic determinants of health and comorbid medical conditions with non-SUD patients,” the study said. “Additional variables, such as behavioral factors or adverse effects of cannabis on pulmonary and immune function, could contribute to the higher risk for breakthrough infection in this group.”
Individual behavior patterns and social conditions may be a major contributing factor above and beyond simply exhibiting problematic substance use patterns, such as lack of access to reliable information, sharing joints, etc (Audacy).