School of Science Technology and Health

Publication Date



COVID-19 impacted multiple facets of life, with implications on physical, mental, and societal health. Specifically, long COVID and related losses have exacerbated complex and prolonged grief responses and mental disorders including depression and anxiety. These mental health concerns are in turn associated with increased detrimental coping strategies including substance use disorders (SUD). The social and interpersonal implications of SUD are varied. Secondary data analyses from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) collected during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed an increase in substance use behaviors and mental health problems. Self-reported religious activities had a positive meditating effect on reducing substance use behaviors. Accordingly, we explored the importance of one's religion and faith in coping with stress, grief, and mental health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the impact of religion and faith in bringing hope and purpose during periods of loss, grief, mental health challenges, and SUD.


long COVID, substance use, grief, faith, psychological distress, mental illness

Publication Title

Journal of Mental Health, Religion and Culture


Pre-print; copyright by the authors



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