Patient Increase in Rehabs During COVID-19
In a time like this with the entire nation — and much of the world — on lockdown, addiction treatment programs have made the transition to online-only. This includes post-recovery treatment such as therapy, doctor’s appointments, peer support groups, etc. You would think that this would have an adverse effect on the number of people seeking addiction treatment, as it has seemingly become more difficult to access adequate care. However, you might be surprised to learn that, actually, the number of people seeking treatment and rehabs for their addiction has increased. Why is this? We will discuss the reasoning and implications of this increase in this article.
What Rehabs Are Doing
When the word got out of a virus spreading, none of us really expected it to spread like wildfire all over the world. Many of us have never experienced anything like this before. For recovering addicts, being in this kind of situation is extra stressful. In fact, there have been reports of drug addicts relapsing into their addiction once again due to the situation we are in right now.
The number of individuals going into rehab has doubled since last year, and many rehabilitation facilities are doing their best to take care of their patients in the circumstances. Many rehab centers are still open despite the lockdown, and have made adjustments to accommodate the new influx of patients. A lot of experts believe that the weeks of isolation and self-quarantine caused this increase in relapses to happen. They also believe that how people cope with their anxiety depends on multiple factors as well as circumstances. On many occasions, some people cope with stresses like this by taking in drugs and the National Institute on Drug Abuse believe that this is one of those times when recovering addicts feel that drugs can help.
Boredom can be dangerous for current and former addicts. And the longer you sit alone with your thoughts, the risk of negativity seeping into your thoughts will rise. Most addicts didn’t fully indulge in their addictions out at bars or restaurants, but rather in the privacy of their own homes, drinking or using drugs alone. This is because no one is around to question or distract from the compulsion to drink or use drugs. Current and former addicts now have more idle time to fill with engaging in vices, causing them to slip further into despair and self-hatred. Most experienced and accredited rehabs have opened Telehealth services for substance abuse. Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona’s leading drug rehab provider since 2008, has expanded their telehealth business and are helping thousands of quarantined clients at this time. Go to https://scottsdalerecovery.com/telehealth-for-addiction-treatment/ for more details!
What to Do While in Lockdown
Long-term confinement can intensify the feelings of boredom, loneliness, and desperation. If you are living alone, your mind begins to think of so many things all at once that it can become overwhelming. Luckily, most treatment centers and therapists are offering video and phone sessions. In addition, a lot of in-person peer support groups are now meeting up online, so you can “attend” these from the comfort of your own home with people all around the country and even the world! Talking to people who are going through the same experiences as you can help ease your thoughts. Not only that, learning new coping skills and how to apply them in your daily life can also help you get back on track.
It’s also important to keep in contact and reach out to those you are close with. Talking to your friends and family can help. There are plenty of ways to stay connected to people. You can use social media, video calls and phone calls. In fact, you can even talk to your therapist online. Just because you are in quarantine doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Reaching out to others can help you in so many ways.
During this time, you must also take care of your physical health as well. Be sure to do that following:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Choosing an antibacterial soap can also be helpful. Make sure to wash your hands at least 20 seconds before rinsing off.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you are coughing or sneezing. Protect yourself from others by wearing face masks when you are going out. Keep in mind that the virus is airborne. Wearing the right kind of protection can help out.
- Always carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you to use in a pinch.
- Avoid being in close contact with others. Since signs of the coronavirus are asymptomatic, it is best to keep your distance and always be aware of the people around you, especially if they show signs of respiratory illness.
- Make sure to clean and disinfect surfaces and frequently touched objects such as your phone and countertops.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose too. These are the main doorways for the virus to affect people.
Always keep in mind that substance abuse can take a negative toll on your health and weakens the immune system. Once your immune system is compromised, you are more at risk for experiencing symptoms of the virus.
To Go or Not to Go to Rehab?
With the crisis going on, it’s easy to slip back into old habits and lose sight of your path to sobriety. If you are someone who is struggling with addiction, you still need support. When we are in these times of crisis, it can be difficult to feel as though we can persevere. As the days blur together and negative news headline after negative news headline crowds our brains, we can sink further and further into depression if we do not maintain a sense of logic about the current situation. Humanity has recovered from much, much worse, and although our feelings about the current situation are valid, it is also important to remember that things will not be like this forever. We just have to take it day by day, and try our best to exercise healthy coping mechanisms and try to come out of this thing stronger and healthier than we were before.