The COVID 19 pandemic has had extreme effects on the American economy. Unfortunately, that means a lot of budget cuts, and this includes addiction treatment. As a result of full rehab programs, these budget cuts, and other effects of the pandemic overdoses have been increasing. This article will describe what is happening and why. More importantly though we will explain what you can do to combat this crisis.
The Effects of COVID 19 on Addiction Treatment
The COVID 19 pandemic has disrupted most people’s lives, but not nearly as much as recovering addicts. The amount of stress and anxiety that the situation has caused is enough to be triggering to those going through addiction treatment on its own. This is not even considering increased isolation and the cancellation of beneficial addiction treatment programs as a result of stay at home orders and social distancing. To make matters even worse, most drug rehab facilities are at full capacity as well and many people are losing their jobs. Overdoses have increased across the country as a result of this. However, these precautions are still necessary for the protection of health for the whole community. Considering that many recovering addicts have weakened immune systems themselves, social distancing and staying at home is crucial for maintaining their health as well.
Why are Budget Cuts Happening?
It may be surprising that states have been greatly reducing the funding for addiction treatment programs during this devastating crisis. However, the crash of the economy has greatly impacted the state’s budgets. Sadly, addiction treatment has not been spared in these budget cuts. The amount of budget reduction to alcohol and drug rehab programs varies from state to state, and there may be more cuts to come.
What You Can do During This Crisis
Although this newfound situation seems absolutely devastating, there are things that you can do for yourself or a loved one going through addiction treatment. Relapse can still be prevented, there just needs to be an alteration of methods.
Support Systems are Crucial: Having a strong support system is important now more than ever. Although stay at home orders and social distancing has greatly increased the feeling of isolation, there are still safe ways to keep in touch with close friends and family. Talking over the phone, video call, or text are safe and fast ways to get a hold of people during this time. It is safe to be in contact with a very small group of people who have been taking the necessary safety precautions as well. “Keeping in frequent contact is especially important if you or a loved one is going through alcohol or drug detox treatment”, says Mat Gorman, CEO at Briarwood Detox.
Online Support Groups: There are also many online support groups available to help recovering addicts during this particularly difficult time. Like traditional support groups, these are a great way to meet people who are going through similar experiences as you are. You also have the chance to talk to those who are further into addiction recovery than you are, which can provide you with valuable advice and inspiration.
Keep Yourself Busy: Keeping yourself busy is also crucial during addiction recovery. Boredom is a common addiction craving trigger along with stress and anxiety. Filling your time can help with reducing all of these things, which greatly reduce the chances for a relapse as a result. This is especially true during such a stressful time. Having a set daily routine can help you to keep yourself busy and productive while staying at home. This is also an excellent opportunity to start a new hobby or take up an old one, and doing things like watching movies, playing games, and reading books can fill any leftover free time.
Remember to Keep up With Your Health: Through all of this it is important to remember to keep yourself healthy. After all, the whole point to addiction treatment is making healthy lifestyle changes. This includes eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, keeping yourself hydrated, and exercising regularly. Doing these things will not only create good habits but also reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and strengthen your immune system over time.
The COVID 19 pandemic has made going through addiction treatment and recovery even harder than it was before. Stay at home orders and social distancing has increased the feeling of isolation, and many beneficial programs for recovering addicts have been cancelled as well. To make matters worse, states have been making cuts when it comes to addiction treatment programs while cases of overdose have been increasing across the country. Although this situation can seem pretty scary, there are things that you can do to prevent a relapse for yourself or a loved one. Keeping in touch with your support group, attending support group meetings online, Filling up your time, and keeping yourself healthy are things that you can still do to prevent a relapse or overdose during the pandemic.