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The Real Difference Between Epidemic vs. Pandemic

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The Real Difference Between Epidemic vs. Pandemic

There’s a reason people take words like epidemic vs. pandemic seriously. Both represent a significant number of people getting sick and dying. They sound similar. But there are some key differences. If you need treatment for a substance use disorder, contact Red Oak Recovery® today. 

What Is an Epidemic vs. Pandemic?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the pandemic called HIV/AIDS has infected 75 million people around the globe. Thirty-two million have died over 40+ years. An epidemic you may have heard of is Ebola. This virus broke out in the African nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Nearly 30,000 people got sick. Eleven thousand died in about two years 2014-2016. But unlike HIV, a vaccine was developed, and the disease was contained. 

Notice that the epidemic in the example above was mostly limited to one geographic region. That’s not to say that people didn’t take Ebola to other countries. But there were no significant outbreaks elsewhere.

The “pan” in pandemic means “all.” So an epidemic becomes a pandemic when it spreads out of the country or city where it started and affects many countries significantly. 

Pandemics sicken and kill many people. 

Pandemics as rare. But they may become more common. That’s because the world is much more interconnected today. People can now travel all over the world quickly. And if they’re sick, they can take a take the disease with them.

That’s what’s happening with COVID-19, also called novel (new) coronavirus. The disease is passed through saliva and mucous, which can land on surfaces. People touch the surfaces, then touch their mouths, noses, or eyes.

That makes it much more contagious than HIV, which requires blood on blood contact.

For people in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the authority on how to stay safe during an epidemic or pandemic. You should also follow any state or local requirements related to COVID-19. 

But there’s another epidemic that the CDC is very concerned about. 

Another Epidemic Is Killing Americans

This epidemic has killed over 1,000,000 people in the last 20 years. It’s made many more terribly sick. And because of it, they suffer things like:

  • Financial loss
  • Homelessness
  • Destroyed relationships
  • Mental illness
  • Damaged health

On top of that, this other epidemic makes you much more likely to get sick and die from things like COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS. That’s because it destroys your body and mind, so you can’t fight off diseases.

The epidemic we’re talking about is addiction.

Epidemic vs. pandemic? Addiction is both.

It sickens and kills people around the world. But in the U.S., the CDC has been especially worried about the opioid epidemic. This one drug class alone has killed 450,000 people since 1999. The remaining deaths are a mix of meth, cocaine, alcohol, and other harmful substances.

Those who are suffering from addiction are especially vulnerable now. And even if they survive the coronavirus, they’ll be just as susceptible to the next pandemic. That is if they don’t die of overdose first.

You have a choice to make right here, and right now. Do you want to get healthy and stay healthy in recovery? Then you know what you have to do: contact a substance use treatment center, such as Red Oak Recovery®.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

Epidemic vs. pandemic matters a lot less than giving yourself the best shot at surviving coronavirus. And it matters a lot less than taking steps to live a more fulfilling life.

No one is going to tell you the road to recovery is easy. And right now, your anxiety and depression may be getting worse because of the COVID-19 pandemic fears. At our addiction treatment center, we treat the whole person and help you learn healthy ways to manage emotions, health, relationships, and life.

If you’re ready to start your new, healthier life in recovery, please contact Red Oak Recovery® at 866.457.7590 to speak with a compassionate professional.