The coronavirus pandemic has affected every country around the globe and continues to become worse in many nations. Until and unless there is no cure for COVID-19, the cases will continue to rise. However, the soaring number of infected people and those dying has become a major concern for governments across the world. Even though several majors are being taken to contain the virus and prevent it from spreading any further, the virus continues to expand its reach and infect more people. The current situation is tense and is not good for many people on physical and psychological aspects as well.
Also, since quarantine has become quite an important thing now, many people have no choice but to live alone. All-day. And although living inside their homes, alone, might seem okay for people with no preexisting condition, it is worse for those suffering from a mental illness or substance abuse disorder. For them, staying alone is like worsening their situation to a level that it becomes a matter of concern.
How is COVID-19 Impacting Addicts?
It has been seven months since the pandemic has forced us all to get quarantined. And even though the present situation is thought to be a new normal, there are people for whom this would end up being a matter of concern. For addicts in recovery who have tried hard to get ahead of their addictive traits, being in isolation can be a pretty challenging situation. Also, the fact that not every hospital or clinic has reopened now, people aside from those who have hit by the COVID-19, are not getting their checkups done. The following ways are in which the coronavirus pandemic is affecting those suffering from an addiction.
The Big One – Self Isolation
If you ask any medical expert who knows substance abuse disorder in and out, you would know how detrimental loneliness can be for addicts in recovery. Even for normal people, staying alone or in one place can induce feelings of uneasiness and irritation that can quickly escalate into them using harmful substances to get their peace of mind. For addicts in recovery, the situation becomes even worse as there are higher chances of relapsing and when left unattended, addicts can fall back to using again.
Limited Medical Facilities
COVID-19 is an invisible killer that spreads through the air. People are advised to not leave their homes unless it is very important. And while it is true, it has also induced a sense of fear among the masses. The fear doubles when they think of going to places that have more risk of contracting COVID-19 such as hospitals, clinics, etc. Thus, many people are avoiding their visits to these places even if it is necessary. This can lead to people opting for self-medication which is even worse. They can use harmful substances such as alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medications to contain their pain and suffering, which can soon elevate to transform into addiction.
Addicts in recovery need a support system to make sure they never deviate from their ultimate goal of achieving long-term sobriety. This support system includes their friends, family, and anyone close to them. The coronavirus pandemic has even impacted this and separated people from each other. With only online interaction and little or no in-person meet up now, those in recovery may feel low quite frequently. Lack of social gatherings is also restricting the addicts from mingling with others and have a good time to feel better. There is more risk that they may use drugs to feel calm and relaxed in the absence of their support system.
How Can This Be Tackled?
Sure this pandemic has introduced mankind and to various problems (especially for the addicts), but there are ways some of them can be dealt with correctly. For addicts in recovery, there are practices and efforts required from their end to make sure their time during the COVID-19 pandemic is cheerful and doesn’t affect their health.
Catch Up with Friends
The pandemic may have distanced us from our loved ones, but there are several ways to make sure you keep in touch with them. Invite them to a group video call, play online games with them, or just catch up normally over a voice call. Having someone who listens and makes you feel better can drastically improve your psychological health.
Attend Online Community Meetings
The recovery community meetings may have stopped happening due to the laws imposed by governments to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. However, what if the in-person meetings have stopped? You can leverage the online meetups and several community gatherings where addicts from around the world come and talk about their personal experiences. It would be a source of support and motivation for you.
Be in Touch with your Therapist
Your therapist knows you more than anyone else. And during these trying times, they are your best bet to get you out of any such situation that ought to pull you down into using again. So what if the clinic’s closed? Maybe hit them up with a video call and make sure you connect with them at least once a week? Not a bad idea at all.
Call When Help is Needed
In cases where you believe you need professional medical help, do not hesitate to ask for one. It is better to ask for help and get a professional assist you, rather than infusing your body with harmful substances in the name of self-medication. There are various helpline numbers that you can reach out to should you feel low or in need of help.
Times are difficult and you do not have to make it worse for yourself. Try to remain happy and contented with what you have. Feeling bored? Try a hobby or talk to a friend. When you decide that you want to stay happy no matter what, you will eventually find away.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many people and has made them financially unstable, lose their jobs, or even something worse. Professionals belonging to the medical community have been saying it out loud that people have to stay positive during these hard times and find something that keeps them happy. It is already a tense situation out there and by staying negative, we are only affecting ourselves. For addicts in recovery, especially, it is important to have a positive mindset and keep in touch with your support system.
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