University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository




Dr. Mitchell Cabisudo



Purpose: Even before the COVID-19 Pandemic in early 2020, substance abuse was a significant issue of concern in the US and worldwide. There is a high probability that the COVID-19 pandemic will have significant consequences on mental health and substance misuse, which will offer long-term issues for providers and the healthcare system. This article aims to review the effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic on substance use and abuse in those with concurrent mental health illnesses.

Methods: A PubMed literature review was conducted using the search terms substance abuse, Covid-19, anxiety, depression, and mental health. In an initial search on PubMed with the applied filters of free full text and MeSH search terms, “Covid-19” and “substance abuse disorder” resulted in 762 results. In addition to the MeSH terms of mental health, the results narrowed to 55, and of these, 35 pertinent articles were retrieved and served as the basis for this literature review. Further review of the 35 articles also led to another data compilation listing on mental health, substance abuse, and potential effects on the same from Covid-19 at KFF.org.

Results: The literature suggests a strong correlation between the specific challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and a rise in substance abuse in patients with concurrent mental health illnesses.

Conclusion: Clinicians have difficulty managing a crisis whose impact will be felt for years to come as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic's consequences on mental health and substance misuse. Further research and development of valuable strategies are needed to understand the new clinical challenges, how practitioners handle the emerging crisis, the growing need for access to care, and the long-term ramifications for these patients and the health care system.


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