With the COVID-19 pandemic having forced the whole world to close down, many medical and mental health consultations have since transitioned to mostly online interactions to adhere to social distancing measures. In these unprecedented times, everyone must do their best to adapt to the less-than-ideal situation.
However, the current situation is indeed a challenging obstacle in the way of overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, compounded by increased anxiety and isolation. Access to therapy and rehab are limited, but seeking professional help is still advised.
Is Rehab During COVID-19 Safe?
As it can be expected from health care services in the midst of a pandemic, they’re quick to respond and adapt to such a situation. They’d take account of the risks of such an infectious disease, especially one as communicable as COVID-19.
This is something taken seriously in legitimate rehabilitation centers, wherein patients under treatment are cared for with the utmost standards. During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients and personnel are tested regularly to ensure safety. Those who test positive are then isolated and put under quarantine.
It can be assured that you will be safe when you seek treatment for drug and alcohol problems in a rehabilitation center. No one should feel that getting help should ever put them in greater danger, which is why such institutions put such matters up as a top priority.
Looking for a treatment center that’s both accessible and takes the necessary safety measures to address the threat of the novel coronavirus is crucial to getting past drug and alcohol problems in 2020. There are important considerations you must make to find an addiction treatment program in which you’ll receive the best possible care.
Are Treatment Centers Adhering to CDC Guidelines?
A proper rehabilitation center adheres to the latest guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the CDC is on top of the whole pandemic, its guidelines are the standard throughout the country when it comes to minimizing the impact of the disease on the population.
Treatment centers are expected to adhere to their guidelines in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for their patients. Therefore, it’s imperative that those seeking treatment for drug and alcohol problems right now should look up treatment centers that are proven to follow these guidelines.
The guidelines include social distancing, frequent hand-washing, wearing personal protective equipment like face masks, and regular testing. Treatment center staff must both follow and carry them out to ensure the facility stays safe from COVID-19.
Online Therapy and Consultation
Due to the circumstances, it’s perfectly understandable if you don’t feel confident about physically going to a therapist, support group, or rehabilitation center. Despite that, seeking professional help is still possible, but with how much the medical establishment has been bogged down by the pandemic and the distant nature of doing things online.
While video chat does let the doctor or therapist interact with the patient, it may not be an adequate substitute in the long term. Having to physically go to a medical or mental health establishment, as opposed to being in the comfort of one’s home, maybe more conducive to instilling accountability.
On the other hand, it has made getting medical consultation more accessible. Telehealth appointments are conducted for outpatient services, including support groups. Making use of technology to consult with a doctor or therapist minimizes the chance of the patient to come in contact with the coronavirus.
Effects of Coronavirus on Addiction
Also, aside from their known effects, drugs and alcohol abuse can increase the risk of catching SARS-CoV 2—the virus that causes COVID-19. Therefore, it’s just as important, if not more, to seek treatment right away to further reduce the risk of being infected by the coronavirus.
Not only is the immune system compromised with frequent intoxication, but impaired judgment due to being under the influence can result in the patient engaging in risky behavior. For instance, drug use may involve the sharing of paraphernalia, making infection more likely. It may also lead the patient to disregard safety measures needed to prevent catching the virus in public, much less disregarding social distancing.
According to global statistics, men are at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to women. This is mostly linked to men being more inclined to smoke, which weakens the lungs and can make it easier for the coronavirus to infect and damage them.
Coping with Isolation and Social Distancing
While you wait for things to lighten up so you can safely go to a treatment center to start rehab, there are ways to keep yourself occupied while in isolation. It’s crucial in this less-than-ideal situation to have something to take your mind off of what can give you anxiety during this time, which can make you crave substances.
A major side-effect of isolation is the deterioration of mental health due to long periods of no social interaction. Physical exercise can help keep the body and mind fit, and using technology to stay in touch with family and friends is also encouraged.
However, technology can also exacerbate undesirable effects. While regularly following social media need not be detrimental to mental health, you may see posts that are negative and anxiety-inducing. Measures such as unfollowing accounts that regularly publish negative posts to your feed and blocking people who are not doing you any good can help.
It’s now more important than ever to maintain good morale amid these challenging times. Technology can be a source of inspiration and hope, as well as a way to get in touch with professional help when you need it.
Drug and alcohol addiction remains amid the pandemic, which is why it’s of utmost importance that you get the help you need. While the rest of the world is doing their best to get past this crisis, you must also do your best in recovering from your condition, now more than ever.
With the right help and resources, you can still get effective addiction treatment despite the pandemic. Your doctor or therapist should provide you with the necessary information for finding a treatment facility that keeps itself safe from the virus and provides the best program.
You shouldn’t stop looking for help for either yourself or a loved one who has a drug and alcohol problem, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Treatment is still available, even in this difficult and unusual time.