COVID-19 and Addiction
What You Need to Know
COVID-19 has presented everyone with challenges as we all try to adapt to a new normal with our work, school, family, and social lives. Individuals who suffer from substance use disorders and their family members are likely experiencing an extra layer of stress navigating the new expectations. Read on to learn how COVID-19 presents unique challenges for people with substance addiction and ways you can offer support.
COVID-19 and Addiction: What You Need to Know
Stress and isolation are two major triggers for substance use, so COVID has been a perfect storm for relapse.
Stress. Work is always a leading cause of stress, and this pandemic has added an entire new vulnerability to employment. People are dealing with job loss, worrying about job loss, and adapting to remote work situations. And, of course, there are the new challenges with education for those in school and those supporting students who now have to learn from home.
Isolation. While socially distancing is important for limiting the spread, it also creates an isolating environment that addiction thrives in. For some, daily interactions with family, friends, and coworkers act as a support while working toward recovery. For others, substance abuse therapy sessions are most beneficial when done face-to-face. COVID has limited or changed these essential close interactions.
How You Can Support a Loved One with an SUD during COVID-19
- Reach out. Let your friend know you are thinking of them and see how they are doing. It’s easy for everyone to feel lonely when regular social activities aren’t available, so it’s important to keep in contact, whether it’s a daily text or weekly phone call.
- Encourage the use of effective coping strategies. When you check-in, ask them about their coping mechanisms and how they’re working to reduce the impact of stress and fear. Are they keeping in touch with their care providers? Attending virtual meetings? Staying busy with other activities they enjoy?
- Help connect them to resources. It’s challenging to find help the first time for substance use disorders, and it’s difficult to change or remake the plans after the first ones fall through. Ask your friend if you can help them find supportive resources. Many can be accessed online while some like North Star Treatment Services continue to have much needed in-person care.
North Star Treatment Services Provides Intensive Outpatient Substance Abuse Rehabilitation.
Located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, North Star Treatment Services offers virtual support and in-person care during COVID-19. Contact us today at 610-265-2215 to learn more about our rehabilitation program.