The current pandemic continues to create new problems worldwide for people from every walk of life. Every single worker across every industry is feeling the strain this virus has put on our lives and the economy, from waiters at restaurants in NJ, to addiction counselors at detox centers in Northern Virginia.
People in recovery from addiction are silently suffering greatly at this time. The many services which they relied on have been shut down, and access to their social support networks has been completely cut off.
Physical Health Effects
Not only is the pandemic affecting people’s ability to stay in recovery at this time, but the COVID-19 itself is dangerous to individuals who have damaged their immunity and vital organs through abuse of drugs and alcohol. The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that COVID-19 poses a serious threat to smokers and those with substance addiction disorders.
Mental Health Effects
All people with mental health conditions will be feeling the effect this pandemic has on their daily lives, and those with addiction disorders need to do their best to continue the recovery process. Some simple things that can help can be eating well, exercising responsibly, and maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. Also, limiting exposure to news and social media, which could be considered triggering will help, and seeking information from trusted sources.
Getting Substance Abuse Treatment During The Lockdown
The American Society of Addiction Medicine has announced that due to the various negative effects that COVID-19 is currently having on society, it is crucial for addiction treatment to remain accessible while providing a safe and therapeutic environment for patients and staff.
Many inpatient treatment programs will still be open throughout this time, and have new regulations to ensure the safety of their staff and patients. These rules vary across the country, but if you’re looking into rehab centers in New Jersey, you will be screened carefully, and your temperature regularly monitored during your stay.
Many outpatient treatment centers have moved to Telehealth services, offering counseling via video or phone calls. As with inpatient services, many New England rehab outpatient services are still offering their services, utilizing screening and testing when necessary to protect patients and staff alike.
Virtual 12-Step Meetings
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) compiled a list of virtual recovery resources to be used during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addiction Treatment Medications
Many people recovering from opioid abuse rely on opioid treatment programs (OTPs), which provide counseling and medication-assisted treatment. Most clinics across the country have organized methods of receiving this medication depends on the level of self-control of the person in recovery. Contact your regular provider for more information.
While considering all of this can seem overwhelming, it’s important to remember that we will get through this. Remember to try and be kind to the people around you at this time.
I hope this article has been a useful insight into the effects this pandemic has had on those who have an addiction, and those in recovery.