More Casualties of the Coronavirus Pandemic
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article echoing some of the things we’ve been saying in our blogs over the past six months. Namely, that the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be devastating for those struggling with substance use disorder. The article cites a June Center for Disease Control survey. In it, 13% of respondents stated that they started or increased substance use as a response to COVID-related stress and other emotional problems. They also ran their own study, requesting public records of the 50 most populous counties in the country. Of the 30 that responded, 21 revealed an increase in overdose deaths compared to 2019 numbers.
Isolation is a Major Factor
Along with the spread of fentanyl and the resurgence of meth and other drugs, the article cites isolation as a major factor in the increase in overdose deaths. According to Shannon Hicks, head of the West Virginia harm-reduction group Exchange Union, “[t]he worst thing for someone chaotically using drugs is to be isolated.” Isolation is the swamp that the disease of addiction festers in. That’s why we stress the importance of a sober support network so often in these blogs. Unfortunately, with gatherings banned, those trying to stay clean and sober can’t get to the twelve-step and other self-help meetings that are so important to a successful recovery.
While you can’t get to meetings in-person, there are some ways to stay connected. If you’re struggling during the pandemic, here are a few ways to stay in touch and alleviate loneliness:
- Try some online meetings – They might not be ideal, but the principles and solution remain the same.
- Stick to your routine – The tools we learn in early recovery are as important as ever. That includes maintaining a sense of structure in our lives.
- Reach out to family and friends – Even something as small as a quick text can go a long way in alleviating those feelings of isolation that are so prevalent.
- Mindfully practice gratitude – A negative mindset can exacerbate feelings of loneliness. Affirmations and a gratitude journal are simple ways to cultivate gratitude in your life.
Real Courage Means Asking for Help
Ocean Recovery remains open and committed to serving people struggling with substance use disorder during the coronavirus pandemic. With facilities in sunny Newport Beach, California, we have been successfully treating substance use and co-occurring disorders since 2002. Ocean Recovery offers a holistic, evidence-based approach to addiction treatment. This includes individual and group sessions, cognitive and dialectic behavioral therapies, nutritional therapy, yoga, and more. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or eating disorders, please consider giving us a call today. Real courage means asking for help. Ocean Recovery is ready to answer.