Addiction to opioids and tobacco increases risk for COVID-19, study finds


People with substance use disorder — especially involving opioids or tobacco — are at a significantly higher risk for contracting COVID-19. What’s more, they also are more likely to develop a serious case of the virus and die, a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health has found.

Additionally, these findings mark still more examples of race-based health disparities that the pandemic has thrust into the spotlight.

The study, conducted by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio’s MetroHealth System, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, looked at data from more than 73 million patients, focusing on people diagnosed with both substance use disorder and COVID-19.