How You Can Stay Sober During A Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic presents many challenges for people struggling with substance abuse. Experts warn that isolation and boredom are two major triggers for relapse. But, during a time when most states are asking their residents to self-quarantine, how is a person supposed to cope?
For example, if they break the rules, they put their health at risk. If they stay at home, they could face serious relapse issues. This is especially true for recovering addicts who don’t have a sober, supportive living environment. And, what happens if someone needs a Phoenix treatment center during this time? Is it still accessible and safe?
While there is no simple solution for everyone, it’s important to know that substance abuse treatment remains available and accessible. Treatment may look a little different right now because it’s being accessed over the internet, but it’s still just as effective and encouraging as in-person therapy.
Before we go over your options for virtual outpatient drug rehab in Phoenix, let’s talk about the increased risk for substance abuse among Americans during the pandemic.
U.S. Alcohol and Recreational Marijuana Sales are Up
Like the novel coronavirus, addiction does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone of any demographic. In fact, some experts worry that the self-isolation and change in routine that comes with the pandemic can put many individuals at risk for addiction.
Consider that online alcohol sales in the United States jumped 243% from March. In-store beverage sales are increasing as well. Across the board, alcoholic beverages rose 55% in March, with an increase in beer, wine and spirits.
Many states have also seen a surge in recreational marijuana sales. It appears that people are stocking up amid the pandemic, and many dispensaries are shifting to delivery to accommodate these sales.
There are a number of possible reasons why alcohol and marijuana sales are skyrocketing. Here are a few theories:
- People are looking to fill their time at home. We know that boredom is a trigger for drug and alcohol use. As more people have extra time on their hands, they may look to fill it with other activities.
- Many people are laid off from work. For those who have lost their job due to the health crisis, they may turn to drugs and alcohol to fill this void.
- Americans are experiencing fear and anxiety. This pandemic has brought about many emotions in people, including panic, fear and anxiety. To temporarily numb these feelings, people may self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.
- Increase in mental illness. For some people, coronavirus is affecting their mental health. With more limited access to medical care, people who don’t have a good regimen may slip into depression.
Is Outpatient Rehab Available During Coronavirus?
If drugs and alcohol are showing up in more homes, this means that people in recovery have more temptation around them. Coupled with self-isolation, boredom and the fear of getting sick, this can be enough to start the relapse process. This is why it’s so important to recognize the need for drug rehab in Phoenix AZ, as you can get ahead of your relapse issues and stay on track with your recovery goals.
Not sure if you need treatment? Here are some signs and symptoms to be on alert for.
- Expressing doubts that you can maintain sobriety.
- Experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety.
- Having a harder time coping with stress.
- Changes in your normal routine, including sleeping patterns and appetite.
- Withdrawing from social opportunities.
- Fantasizing about using drugs and alcohol.
- Living in an environment where drugs and alcohol are accessible.
Addiction Treatment Options During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Addiction is sneaky, so it’s important to be proactive. If you feel that you are slipping in any way, know that you have a number of rehab programs you can access.
12-Step Online Meetings
Addiction support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous have moved most of their sessions online using video chat tools like Google Hangouts and Zoom. However, because AA meetings are seen as essential services, some meetings are still being held in person. This gives people who are new to recovery the chance to see someone in-person.
Online Forums and Message Boards
While video chat offers more of a connection than sending messages, some people fare just fine with forums, message boards and online groups. In fact, because of the anonymity of these forums, some people are more open about asking questions or sharing their concerns. Here is a list of online support groups that you can explore.
Virtual Therapy Appointments
Therapy is available online as well. This allows people to meet with a licensed, certified mental health professional and discuss the symptoms they are having. Most insurance companies cover these appointments, though you may still have a copay. For times when you’re feeling depressed or anxious, talking with a therapist can really help.
Virtual Outpatient Treatment
Many outpatient treatment centers have shifted to a virtual platform in order to abide by the social distancing guidelines, Continuum Recovery Center included. We have moved our PHP, IOP and OP programs online where we’re able to serve clients while keeping them and our staff safe.
Clients who are already part of our treatment program are aware of these changes. However, we continue to accept new clients as well. You can verify your insurance and fill out our pre-admission forms directly online. Once accepted into our program, you will have access to our therapies, coaches and case managers as needed, as well as group and individual therapy via Zoom.
Don’t Forget the Importance of Lifestyle Changes
It’s incredibly important to utilize the holistic outpatient treatment services you have available during the pandemic. But don’t forget that there are many things you can do to protect your sobriety as well. Here are some examples:
- Follow a healthy routine to prevent boredom.
- Practice good self-care by eating balanced meals, exercising 30 minutes a day and getting enough rest.
- Start a project or new hobby to keep yourself busy and learn new skills.
- Attend your therapy and 12-step meetings online.
- Connect with friends and family on social media, video chat, etc.
- Manage stress and anxiety through meditation, prayer, yoga, etc.
The coronavirus outbreak has impacted all of our lives. However, people in recovery are especially vulnerable because they are still healing. If you need extra support during this time, be sure to leverage the online tools available to you.
Continuum Recovery Center is also accepting clients and running things as normal as we can amid the pandemic, with the exception of moving our meetings to an online platform. To learn more about our virtual holistic outpatient rehab for alcoholism and drug addiction contact us today.