A majority of people have found it difficult to live without social events and closed stores. However, there is one particular group of people who have been affected more by the coronavirus pandemic. These are the people struggling with addiction. With many social events completely stopped, people with addiction disorder have very few ways to interact with different people and socialize in order to take their minds off of their desire to substance abuse.
The void that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to these people’s lives is enough for them to avoid reality and fall prey to the desire to consume more. A coach at Scottsdale Recovery Center, Amy Samuel-Meda, has stated that there has been a considerable spike in substance abuse cases ever since the first lockdown was imposed in the month of March 2020. She says that the sudden increase in cases stems from the abrupt change in routine and inability to access the social support groups. Also, a lot of rehabilitation centers no longer offer outpatient treatment programs.
Amy said that people with addiction disorder primarily rely on recreational activities to help take their minds off or the desire to consume. But with social events such as attending a sports game, watching a concert, or even hiking no longer available, a person with substance abuse disorder can fall back into his/her old habits. She says that people have lost their routine, their support systems, and even the treatment programs, so a spike in addiction cases are bound to happen.
Earlier, patients used to find help by discussing their successes and life events with others in meetings or with the sponsors. These meetings used to be in-person before the pandemic. All these meetings have now converted into virtual zoom meetings where people trying to stay sober can remain connected. Even therapists these days are promoting their services through telehealth to speak to their patients. However, people with poor internet connectivity or proper devices can find themselves secluded from the communities and doctors that they rely on.
Samuel-Meda said that although in-person meetings are always preferred, considering the current circumstances, virtual meetings are the best option. She said that it is a close second and honestly the best they could do in these trying times. However, if the severity of the addiction is more in some cases, they would need an outpatient treatment program to detoxify completely. For those who suspect that their family member or friend is suffering from substance abuse disorder, Samuel-Meda recommends consulting with addiction specialists to better tackle this issue.
Those who do not feel comfortable addressing this issue with their family members can talk to a medical expert who can provide further guidance. Sometimes, patients can be in complete denial about their addiction and refuse to take treatment at all stating reasons such as too busy with work or family issues. However, most of the outpatient treatment programs are flexible and are designed to match the patient’s schedule.
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 2007. Call 602-346-9142.