Why now is the time to seek addiction treatment
Authored by Audra Franchini
It’s an uncertain time for a lot of people; no one knows when school will be back in session, when lay-offs will end, or when it’ll be acceptable to just give someone a comforting hug again.
But this time is especially trying for those in active addiction. Limited access to alcohol, strict social distancing rules, isolation and boredom at home … the reasons are endless.
If you or a loved one is struggling right now, it’s important to know now is the time to finally accept help for addiction. Here’s why seeking immediate treatment has never been more important:
Isolation can be deadly
While it may be the best thing we can do to prevent the spread of disease, isolation causes some serious boredom – which, for most people, is nothing besides annoying.
Problem is, boredom and substance abuse can be a deadly combination.
“Boredom is extremely pertinent when clients first stop using drugs since they generally have no idea what to do with themselves and feel very lost,” says author of Listening to Our Clients: The Prevention of Relapse Michael Levy.
The same can be assumed for those in active addiction. After all, when you’re in isolation, you feel the same way – unsure of what to do with yourself and how to spend your time. So what else is there to do besides what has given you comfort so far: drugs or alcohol.
In fact, in a study published in The Science of Boredom: The Upside (and Downside) of Downtime found that of 365 people suffering from substance use disorder, boredom was the number one reason given for re-using drugs or alcohol. Next on the list: anxiety, loneliness, and anger.
…. So can loneliness
Loneliness is at an all-time high right now, too.
Some of us have positive friends, family, or loved ones to help us stay sane during this time of isolation and social distancing. Even though we can’t be together physically, we can still be there for each other emotionally.
But people suffering from substance use disorder (SUD) usually don’t have enough positive human contacts in their lives to feel happy – so they turn to drugs or alcohol to help self-medicate, says Panksepp in The Archaeology of the Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions.
Whether you’re in active addiction or not, you may be feeling loneliness right now, too. Think about your family, friends, or loved ones who bring a positive light into your life. Now cut that number down by at least half and add in social distancing. That’s what it feels like to be someone suffering from SUD right now.
And they cope with that loneliness with drugs or alcohol.
Stuck at home can add even more stress
The only positive side to staying homebound: Being surrounded by your family or loved ones, right?
For some people in active addiction, these individuals can add to their stress, increasing their desire or urge to use even more drugs or drink even more alcohol to cope with being “stuck” at home. It’s a dangerous time when you’re “stuck” at home with people who add to your stress level. It’s more stress than usual, so drug and alcohol use are more, too.
The same can be said if individuals living in your home are heavy users or drinkers. Because you’re around them more, you may find yourself using or drinking more than you usually do.
You may not be able to get help at a hospital right now
One of the biggest concerns for people suffering from addiction right now: What if I need help and I can’t get it at my local hospital because it’s overrun with COVID-19 patients?
Right now, hospitals’ main goal is to treat COVID-19 patients – understandably. But what about someone who is in severe withdrawal? Or someone who has overdosed? Patients suffering from addiction are being put on the back burner right now. This can be a deadly move.
That’s why accepting help for addiction right now will safeguard individuals with addiction. At addiction treatment centers like Recovery Centers of America, addiction has always and will always be put first. We have strict precautions for COVID-19 in place, so we can continue our mission to save patients from addiction.
What better time than now?
Let’s be honest – there isn’t much to do right now. Most people are stuck at home, not working, not traveling, not going out to shops or restaurants, not visiting family or friends.
What better time than the present to seek addiction treatment? COVID-19 has already interrupted all of our lives and brought them to a screeching halt. Take advantage of this time, when you are already home from work or stuck in the house with nothing to do. You could enter addiction treatment for 30 days and begin your life in recovery just as the world is coming back to life following COVID-19.
Get in touch with one of our Treatment Advisors today by calling 1-800-RECOVERY. We’re here for you 24/7.