Before the COVID-19 crisis swept the nation, many news outlets were covering the effects of addiction on our society. While it is not getting as much attention now, the disease of addiction remains a real and tangible threat – and it may be getting worse during the coronavirus pandemic.
With the stress, anxiety, and depression surrounding COVID-19, many people may be tempted to drink or use drugs. This is true whether they have no history with substance abuse, or they have been in recovery for years. Further, those struggling with addiction are facing unprecedented amounts of isolation, which is widely known to make the disease worse.
According to a professional drug interventionist:
“The disease of alcoholism and addiction thrives on isolation. Now we’re kind of being forced to isolate in a lot of ways, so that’s not a good mixture.”
With 10 years of recovery on his side, this source told News 8 that a phone call or face-to-face conversation can be a “game-changer.” Unfortunately, the latter option is not currently available.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone battling addiction could walk into a community center or church basement and find the support they needed. Now, those gatherings are shut down. Nevertheless, recovery during a pandemic is still an option. Many Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and other 12-step programs have moved online, where individuals can seek help and community from the comfort of their own homes.
People who are further along in recovery recommend getting a sponsor as soon as possible and checking in regularly via phone calls and video chats. Similarly, outpatient programs are being conducted through Zoom, BlueJeans, Google Hangouts, Skype, and other video sharing software. Telehealth has also become a great option for individual and group therapy.
Coronavirus is causing a rise in drug and alcohol relapses, and for some, online help may not be enough to make it through this trying time.
As such, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers like Turning Point remain open to make a real difference in people’s lives. All our locations are still open, and we will continue providing all levels of care. Additionally, we are adhering to CDC (Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention) guidelines and doing everything in our power to keep residents safe and sober.