CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — The outbreak of the virus that causes COVID-19 has brought challenges to the world like never before.
Though communities have adapted as best they can to combat these trying times, it is easy to forget the problems we faced before this pandemic and how our current way of life will keep us safe from the virus – but maybe not from ourselves.
Recent reports have shown alcoholism and overdose rates have surged as social distancing and isolation have been either recommended or mandated by local officials. As the connection to others is one of the primary tools to fight substance use disorder, how do we stay connected in an isolating world? Resources all around us are either closing or being pushed into a digital world, and for some, it is not enough.
As mass isolation occurs, mental health suffers, and help is harder to find. As we separate further and further from each other, the uncertainty of the future begins to close in. No matter what, hope is still out there for all of us, and together we will get through this.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has restricted the amount of live-saving options available to those suffering from substance use disorder. With the inability to go to community groups, 12-step meetings, church and even traditional therapy, individuals have been left will very little options as far as support systems.
Ask anyone who has been successful in recovery from substance use and you learn about a variety of support they actively participate in to ensure the daily maintenance of their recovery remains active. Restrictions of gatherings and the stay-home orders have diminished the resources available to those individuals who desperately needed it.
Without the ability to connect with others, an already isolated addicted mind kind truly feel the despair of being alone in their fight against substance use. This makes for a fast track to relapse. Without the foundation built in years of recovery, many newcomers to recovery will have a difficult time getting the support that they need.
According to the American Medical Association, more than 30 states have reported an increase in opioid-related mortality. In addition to that, there is a growing concern regarding those with mental health and or substance use disorder.
Individuals with these kinds of problems were already struggling before the current events challenged the operation of daily life. Stay at home orders and the shutdown of nonessential functions have caused an almost isolation culture. Isolation is an accelerant to substance use and depression, and these numbers will continue to rise as an unintended consequence of keeping people indoors and social distancing.
The breakdown of normal society and fear has also driven up drug use and overdose. Without community resources and many laid off from their jobs and an order to stay home, most individuals new to recovery don’t have the foundation that can withstand these many challenges early in recovery. The safe havens of the past are closed, and now these individuals are left without the help they need.
In 2018, the overdose rate had gone down for the first time in many years from the year prior, and now experts fear that overdose could spike worse than ever before.
Help is out there
Lion’s Gate Recovery has stayed open as a beacon of light for those still suffering from substance use disorder. A fantastic team with multiple locations and a world-class curriculum, the program directors at Lion’s Gate Recovery know the problems these times bring not only for individuals with substance abuse but the families suffering from them.
During this time of uncertainty, Lion’s Gate Recovery provides a haven to those who need help the most. The team has implemented advanced screening for all clients and is dedicated to the safety and recovery of all those in their care. These preventative measures will keep Lion’s Gate at the forefront as a facility absolutely grounded in its dedication to its client’s well-being.
As a shining hope in these months of doubt, they are one of the few resources still open to those who desperately need it.
Written by SHANE P. CURRIN, Lion’s Gate Recovery.
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