Dr. Waismann, in his podcast “Addictive World”, alerts the general public and authorities as Opioid dependent patients are likely, more than others, to develop life – threaten secondary effects of the coronavirus.
He explains how to manage this situation before opioid-dependent patients will soon become along with the elderly population, the most serious groups of patients to occupy critical care resources.
This time I have an urgent message for you, and this message should be passed on as much as you can to as many people as you can because there’s something under the covers, there’s something under the lines that’s not being paid attention by the authorities when they talk about a pandemic, an epidemic when you talk about the coronavirus. There is a group of people, we are talking about millions of us citizens and people from all over the world, that they are very, very, very high-risk patients that probably, in any kind of viral infections, they can be in a very bad way damaged by that. Those are the opiate-dependent patients. Opioid dependency causes a direct negative impact on the immune system, which will place opiate-dependent patients on a very high life-threatening risk of developing serious complications once they become infected by the virus disease.
Now, along with that, opioids are a central nervous system depressant, reduces activities of the brain and the spinal cord, which is very important. Now, opiates suppress as well respiration and breathing, not just respiration and breathing, but the quality of breathing as well, which can cause serious complications once you have secretions, once you have viral infections, once you have even a small pneumonia, and that can develop to tragic consequences. Now, people that are exposing themselves to opiates every day, like opiate-dependent patients, opiates have a very negative impact on the white cells in our blood. The white cells are the ones that are recruited when we have an infection, a viral infection. On that level as well, you guys are handicapped on that. It puts you even at more risk of having an infection or a viral infection that will develop much faster with many serious and critical results. On top of all that, opioid-dependent patients are on the very high risk of developing obstructive sleeping apnea as well, which can complicate the cases of people who are ill.
When they have viral infections, they have no energy, they sleep, and they can die during their sleep, which happens even in many, many cases even without the virus infection, but the virus infection just will bring that to a more likely consequence. But one of the most critical aspects of all that at this point in time, at this point with the virus pandemic, epidemic, will be the high risks of developing bronchitis and pneumonia, which usually will follow viral infections. In some cases, people are very concerned about the elderly, and rightfully so. But on that category, an opiate-dependent patient becomes like the elderly or even worst, or even worst. Due to the low immunological response for the virus, those patients can develop bronchitis and pneumonia. Now, this is an alert. This an alert, and this message should be passed on to as many people as possible because you have opiate-dependent patients all over the place. The problem is you have hundreds of thousands on what they call treatment with a replacement like methadone, Subutex, Suboxone, and they think they are being treated.
They think they are being managed, but they are not. They still are opiate-dependent, and all that I said before applies to them as well. If you cannot check yourself into a proper medical facility that can treat your dependency medically under a scientifically-based approach, which I know is very hard to find, my suggestion would be to manage your situation. There’s a difference between dependency and addiction. Now, due to this crisis is the time, which is always a good time to do that, but I encourage you to do that immediately after you listen to what I’m telling you right now. There’s a difference between dependence and addiction. Leave the whole addiction issue aside. Focus on your dependency. Your body is dependent on opiate intake, so you must take your opiates if you’re not properly treated. I understand that very well but use what you must. Use what you need to keep your body as balanced as possible.
Don’t overuse. Don’t abuse. Abusing opiates right now is not that it eventually can lead you to an accident and OD. Now, you’re really fragile, and you’re really exposed to immediate complications, serious ones, and death. I hope that some of the authorities will listen to what I’m telling them because we’re talking about a huge amount of people in that situation. If they try to give priority to the opioid crisis or the opioid epidemic, right now, the opiate-dependent patients, they should become a high priority in order to try to control this virus crisis. Keep your dependency managed and isolate yourself from others. That’s what you need to do. Don’t expect your leadership to tell you. To protect yourself and to protect others, isolate yourself. Use what you must. Try to have good nutrition. Try to take vitamin C. Try to take supplements of vitamin D. This will help you as well.
Try to take supplements of vitamin B, and just take good care of yourself. Now, all the theories about addiction and addiction personalities and behavior, let’s put it all aside right now. I have a lot to say on that, but that’s not the moment. The moment is to save lives. Just take good care of yourself. This message, please, if you can, pass it on because you might save lives as well. Now is the time to hang on until we can beat this crisis, but we have to protect ourselves. We have to take good care of ourselves. Manage your situation, knowing if you have an opiate dependency; you are on a very, very high risk of having serious, but very serious complications due to the viral infection. If you are a leader, if you are a politician, if you are a policymaker, open your eyes.
Pay attention that if you won’t take care of your opiate-dependent patients properly and manage their situation right now, they will be the first ones to occupy all the ICUs and to use all the equipment that you guys are so concerned, rightfully so, and worried about, “How are we going to cope if the epidemic gets worse?” because they are opiate-dependent patients, they will come to those ERs faster than the elderly people. Because they’re young, they won’t die that fast, but they will be in critical situations. I believe that most of the resources, looking two months, three months down the line… Well, a lot of your resources, you’re going to be using on opiate-dependent patients because nobody was aware of that because people have tended to believe that if you are on methadone if you are on Subutex or Suboxone, you’ve been taking care. You are on the treatment. No, you’re not. You still have a deadly disease that can bring you to terrible medical conditions if you are inflicted with a virus infection. Bring this message. Bring this message on.