Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2022; 26 (1): 291-297

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202201_27780

COVID-19 pandemic, substance use disorders and body image issues, a worrisome correlation

S. Zaami, A. Sirignano, Ó. García-Algar, E. Marinelli

Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic, and Orthopedic Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. enrico.marinelli@uniroma1.it


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has profoundly affected the social fabric and the economic and health care viability and functioning of most countries. Aside from its deeply destructive impact on health care systems and national economies, the pandemic has jeopardized people’s emotional and psychological well-being as well. The authors aimed to shed a light on how the pandemic has been affecting patients with addiction issues and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which is characterized by negative thoughts about appearance and body misperceptions. People with body dysmorphic disorder are in fact at increased risk of developing substance use disorders, and such a destructive association has only been made more severe by pandemic-related restrictions, emotional distress and anxiety, as well as longer exposure to social media and online interactions. This is a major cause for concern, because substance use worsens symptoms of BDD and contributes to unfavorable treatment outcomes.

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To cite this article

S. Zaami, A. Sirignano, Ó. García-Algar, E. Marinelli
COVID-19 pandemic, substance use disorders and body image issues, a worrisome correlation

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2022
Vol. 26 - N. 1
Pages: 291-297
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202201_27780