For so many families impacted by substance use, one of the greatest struggles is often the desire to have their loved one home for the holidays. Families worry about their loved one being away from home during the holidays and missing out on traditions celebrated as a family. Families often think if they stay home this time, maybe they will finally remain sober. And today, one of the biggest questions is: Will they be safe going into treatment? Can’t they get COVID-19 there?
But today more than ever, this is the best time to get help for your loved one.
Here are a few reasons why today should be the day your loved one enters treatment:
Substance use on the rise:
As a result of COVID-19 for so many individuals, concerns such as increased depression and anxiety have been identified, but for many more, the impact of the pandemic has led them to the development or the increase impact of addiction. Many states are already reporting an increase in overdose deaths. A report from the state Department of Public Health shows a 2% – or 33 more deaths – in Massachusetts for the first 9 months of 2020. New Jersey Department of Health’s Opioid Data Dashboard showed a 19.3% increase in suspected drug-related deaths in New Jersey compared to the same period last year.
Increased risks for those with a SUD
While there’s no data showing people suffering from SUD may have a higher chance of getting COVID-19, there are a few things to consider. Some underlying medical conditions, like lung disease and serious heart conditions, seem to increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19, reports the CDC. Drug use can affect breathing, increase the chances of heart problems, and other conditions that affect immune response, like HIV or liver disease, which are common among people with SUD.
All of these signs point to a greater chance of people with SUD getting hit harder with COVID-19. And susceptible populations need to take all necessary precautions to stay safe.
Many people are risking their lives and not entering addiction treatment, as they are afraid to be around other patients and potential COVID-19 exposure – but it’s never been more important for this population to receive treatment.
Holidays won’t be the same this year
Upcoming holidays can be a barrier to treatment for some people. No one wants to miss out on the fun holiday festivities. However, with the restrictions regarding celebrating in larger crowds, this is the best time to focus on recovery. All families are being tasked with creating new traditions and exploring new and creative ways to celebrate the holidays. What better time to focus on recovery and explore these new traditions while your loved one receives treatment?
Since the holidays won’t be the same for so many people this year, with COVID-19 still lingering, many holiday traditions, like parades, parties, and other activities won’t be happening this year. A lot of families will be having virtual celebrations – which your loved one can easily attend from treatment. Attending addiction treatment this holiday season means they can be present and their best self next holiday season – when the traditions and normalcy are back in full swing.
Added bonus: They’ll avoid the temptations that tend to come along with the holidays this year. Then, next year, they’ll have the necessary tools and knowledge to tackle these temptations head-on.
Avoid added depression
Between COVID-19 restrictions and a less-than-joyful holiday season, depression is at an all-time high. In fact, a recent study conducted by researchers from Boston University found that COVID-19 has tripled the rate of depression in the United States.
Depression can feed a drug or alcohol addiction. It can also increase the likelihood of suicide.
While being in addiction treatment may not seem ideal at first, they’ll bond with other patients, partake in fun holiday activities, and still be able to see family – whether it’s through virtual meetings or family visitation. They’ll also have access to therapists and counselors who will help them battle feelings of depression or anxiety. They won’t be alone.
Patients & RCA staff members tested for COVID-19
RCA has implemented all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff. Patients at our Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland sites are tested upon admission and remains on the observation floor until their results return, often within 36 hours. Additionally, all staff members are also tested on a regular basis as well as daily monitoring of all staff members coming in and out of the building. For many of your loved ones, these protocols provide a safer environment than their current living conditions.
Recovery Centers of America is open and accepting patients while following CDC protocol to keep patients and staff healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about our testing and the precautions we’re taking here. Call 1-800-RECOVERY today.