The coronavirus pandemic started in November 2019 and still continues to affect the entire world. While many countries are observing a decrease in daily cases, the problem is not completely over yet. In Arizona, officials spread the message throughout the pandemic to wear a mask, wash their hands, and maintain social distancing at all times. All these measures are taken to ensure that the virus cannot spread and these daily cases are brought down. However, while social distancing is the new normal, experts say that it is not at all good for people with mental health issues.

Watch the recent ABC15 news segment that we were featured in on this topic:

The officials release the number of COVID-19 cases each day, in addition to the number of drug overdoses per month. During March 2020 when the first lockdown was imposed, nearly 480 people died from a drug overdose. This number was 40% more than what was reported in March 2019. This is seriously considering the fact that the coronavirus pandemic is all over the news, and not the opioid epidemic that’s already devastating the state. People should know about the latter as well as it is equally concerning.

Experts say that just before the pandemic, they received a lot of patients in the opioid treatment and rehab programs. However, with the beginning of the pandemic, everything went quiet. They say they are concerned about the patients because the seclusion associated with the pandemic may result in a possible relapse. The increase in opioid overdose cases was prominent from 2017 to 2019, and with less exposure to medical facilities in 2020, the increase in overdose cases is not surprising. Do experts say that since these were difficult times, people may have gotten thoughts like what if I lose my job? The world is falling apart. Unemployment is increasing at a staggering rate. All of this could’ve led to possible drug abuse.

Many of the people suffering from substance abuse disorder may have struggled to get help due to the dangers of the virus. Also, opiates suppress our normal drive of breathing and that’s how an overdose happens. As for COVID-19, this virus also attacks the lungs and the respiratory system. So there is a big link between the two. Also, many health experts suggest that this disturbing trend is likely to continue and maybe worsen considering the uncertainty associated with the pandemic. This has motivated therapists to adapt to this new normal and follow a different approach to help those in need.

Recovery centers are now offering their services virtually rather than the in-person treatment program. This also expands the possibility to offer additional services such as teaching families how to better support a loved one. The best way therapists suggest to help those in need is by talking to them. If your loved one is suffering from this, you should sit and talk to them. Listen to what they have to say, and then be ready together to take action against it. This can help alter the statistics of the opioid epidemic.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center® holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.