Many media pundits have been wondering what the effects of the lockdowns, social distancing, lost jobs, the pause in social gatherings, the slowed economy, and constant news of the latest caronavirus will have on substance abuse.

Do you wonder if your loved one has increased their substance abuse in reaction to the events and life changes brought on by COVID-19? Chances are they have and they need your help.

Past Recessions, Disasters, and Loss of Jobs

California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals produced a document they presented to California govenor Gavin Newsom concerning COVID-19 and its impact on their state’s fragile substance abuse treatent system. In it they outline the effects of past recessions, disasters, job loss on substance abuse cases, related deaths, and overall prevalence.

The reported impacts were remarkable for increases in both alcohol and drug related substance abuse. When these life altering things occur, substance abuse tends to go up. So, it seems reasonable to believe that the interruptions to our lives, brought on by COVID-19, will also create similar increases in substance abuse.

Increases in Substance Abuse During COVID-19

One group, The Recovery Village, decided to survey Americans across the country to see if increases in substance abuse have been occuring during the COVID-19. The results are interesting, even for our state of Utah. Utahns reported a 70% increase in alcohol or drug use. 60% reported their substance abuse related to boredom, 20% related to stress, 10% to anxiety and depression. Other interesting things about these results were that 70% of the respondents were female and 60% of respondents were between the ages of 35-44 years old.

Check out the results of different states by using the interactive map below.


Statistics on substance abuse during COVID-19 provided by The Recovery Village®.


Ask your loved one about their use, ask if they have noticed a change, and ask how you can help them curb the increase and get back on track to recovery. Cache Valley Recovery can help you and your loved ones in this effort to stop substance abuse.