Pandemic leading to struggles and substance abuse

Last Updated on October 9, 2020

Substance Abuse Among the Coronavirus Pandemic

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have cautioned the public about the potential negative mental health effects caused by these uncertain times.

Even though staying at home, self-quarantining or isolating when necessary, and social distancing are necessary for preventing the spread of COVID-19, these actions can increase mental health stress and conditions. Other pandemic-related stressors, such as financial strain, job loss and caregiving responsibilities, can also lead to poor mental health.

For those with substance abuse disorders or mental health conditions, these uncertain times can exacerbate a condition or cause a relapse.

Staggering Statistics

As the pandemic continues, worrying statistics about the pandemic’s effects on substance abuse and mental health are emerging:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse during late June 2020.
  • Millennium Health, a national lab service, analyzed 500,000 urine drug tests from mid-March through May of this year and found:
    • A 32% increase in tests for nonprescribed fentanyl
      • A 20% increase in tests for methamphetamine
      • A 10% increase in tests for cocaine
    • This data shows that people from all over the country are struggling to cope with these uncertain times. This means that many people are having a tough time.

Ongoing Employee Monitoring Makes A Difference

With the pandemic situation and the substance abuse issues, It is important to keep an eye on employees and consider ongoing monitoring as part of your business practice, In some industries such as manufacturing, ongoing drug testing can be a crucial component to maintaining high safety standards. This is especially true for those candidates who will be operating heavy machinery, dangerous equipment, or toxic chemicals. This can make the difference in your safety and success as a business.

When choosing a screening company, using someone reputable such as MyHRScreens, will help to deliver accurate and understandable results.  MyHRScreens’ open platform API allows them to integrate seamlessly with many of the major applicant tracking systems (ATSs). These numerous integrations allow them to perform a wide variety of employee screenings in an efficient manner with fast turnaround time, protecting your business quickly.

For more information regarding HR or Screening needs during the COVID-19 crisis, contact MyHRConcierge at 1-855-538-6947 x.108 or email For screening questions email

You’re Not Alone, Reach Out for Help

If you have concerns about your mental health or a substance abuse disorder during these times, or are worried about a loved one, please contact your mental health professional or use SAMHSA’s National Helpline by calling 800-662-HELP (4357).