The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that while both people with and without disabilities often experience barriers to treatment but the disabled face additional barriers. The American Association of Health and Disability reported that more than 50% of substance use treatment facilities had to turn away patients with traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries because the facilities were not wheelchair accessible. This was the case whether or not the facilities were public or privately owned, or were residential, outpatient, or hospital-based.
While it may be several years before we see the long-term impact COVID has on adolescents as they transition into adulthood, untreated mental health disorders could spiral into SUDs later in life. Common behavioral health issues seen during the pandemic that co-occur with addiction include social anxiety, ADHD, PTSD and depression.