Circumstances surrounding COVID-19 has taken a toll on nearly everybody’s mental health and has created relapse triggers for many people in recovery. Why is this happening and what can you do to protect yourself and those you care for?
How COVID-19 Affects People In Recovery
If you’re having a difficult time keeping clean due to COVID-19, you’re not alone. Many regions around the US have reported an increase in drug overdose-related deaths and emergency calls, and alcohol sales have increased by nearly 55 percent. There are many factors researchers have contributed to this new crisis in the recovery community.
- Social Isolation – Connection with others is a core psychological need for everyone, but even more so for people in recovery. Isolation and loneliness can be a huge relapse trigger for many people.
- Health-Related Stress – If you’re constantly worried about the health and safety of yourself and your loved ones, it can be hard to resist the temptation to find short-term anxiety relief through substance use.
- Job Loss & Financial Struggles – Being furloughed or laid off due to the pandemic is especially challenging for people recovering from addictions. The loss of structure and routine that your job normally provides might also make it harder to stay away from substances. Moreover, the stress and anxiety caused by financial difficulties can be another major trigger.
- Grief – If you’re experiencing the unbearable pain and trauma of losing a loved one to COVID-19, it might seem nearly impossible to cope without drugs or alcohol.
Enlist The Support Of Loved Ones
With so many social distancing protocols in place, it can be very difficult to find the support you need to keep clean. If there’s someone in your life who can offer kindness, empathy, patience, and nonjudgemental emotional support—perhaps someone who has struggled with an addiction or mental illness themselves—consider confiding in them.
Create A Self-Care Routine
Self-care is especially important during these stressful and uncertain times. The loss of structure caused by being at home can make it much harder to resist the urge to use. Try to create a schedule and engage in healthy habits, such as hobbies, journaling, arts and crafts, meditation and prayer, and physical exercise.
Attend Virtual Support Meetings
Many addiction support groups are doing their best to support addicts just like you. 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and In The Rooms, currently offer meetings over webcam or phone.
Be Kind To Yourself!
We’re currently living in unprecedented times, so we all need to be extra compassionate towards ourselves and each other. If you slip up, focus on how to prevent it from happening again, forgive yourself, and move on instead of dwelling in shame and guilt.
Relapses are extremely common even during normal times—in fact, it’s estimated that 40-60% of people in recovery have relapsed at least once. A relapse doesn’t have to spell the end of your recovery story.
Addiction Detox In Utah
At our medical detox facility, we provide personalized detox plans, 24/7 nursing care, emotional support, and easy transitions to rehab programs and community-based resources. You don’t have to do this alone. At Nexstep Medical Detox, many of our caring staff have struggled with addiction themselves. We get it. Now’s the time to return to the road to recovery. Contact us today and begin the admissions process.