How Coronavirus Has Threatened Recovery

How Coronavirus Has Threatened Recovery

The impact of the novel Coronavirus and COVID-19 on the United States and around the world has been unprecedented. People have been stressed in many ways, from financial disaster to health scare to loss of a loved one.

A recent article[1] that quoted Dr. Lawrence Brown Jr., CEO of START Treatment & Recovery Centers in New York read, “Whatever structures used to maintain sobriety by people with substance-use issues tend to fall away in a pandemic.”

“People who have lost proximity to support systems, programs, and relationships that help them stay sober may be tempted to self-medicate in order to deal with stress, anxiety, and isolation,” he explained.

Recovery Stressors

Many people have lost their jobs or have other financial difficulties during this time, which brings about a host of other problems, including fear and uncertainty about their future. These can quickly turn to stronger worry and anxiety, causing a desire for relief. Unfortunately, this relief sometimes comes in the form of seeking substances for self-medication.

Those who have their children home with them full time are also under additional stress. The pressure to care for them, help them with their school assignments and also perform their own regular job duties can easily be overwhelming. The additional difficulty of parents trying to help their children cope through their own fears, disruption and uncertainty is no small task.

Whether people are at home with their immediate family, completely alone, or somewhere in between, a feeling of isolation can set in. Simple freedoms have been taken away, and many previous outlets for them have been temporarily suspended or closed, including in-person recovery support meetings, churches, and workplaces. Isolation and loneliness can lead to further depression.

What You Can Do to Maintain Sobriety During Coronavirus

Despite the very difficult times and the somewhat grim picture painted above, there is hope. There are many things that can be done to help alleviate the stress to some degree or another. Here are a few examples:

  • Attend Recovery Meetings Online – The recognition of the need for support groups to continue has quickly led to many thousands being available online. It is an excellent substitute resource for a lot of people.
  • Sign up for Peer Support – From Sponsors to Recovery Coaches to Peer Support Specialists through organizations like MAP Health Management, there is personalized support available to connect through your phone or computer virtually any time.
  • Find a Creative Outlet – These therapeutic resources are more than just hobbies, they provide an outlet to relieve stress, anxiety, anger, depression and other upsetting feelings. They help you focus on something positive and constructive and provide a sense of accomplishment as well. Some examples may include painting or drawing, knitting or crocheting, doing puzzles, building models, home improvement projects, playing an instrument, or a number of other options.
  • Get Some Fresh Air – Although many public parks are closed, try to get outside as much as possible. The connection with nature, when available, is very therapeutic as well as the sunshine. It also helps people to feel like they have much more space and aren’t just cooped up inside their home. A simple walk down the street and back a couple times per day can do wonders.
  • Seek Financial Support – Many people throughout the country will be receiving economic stimulus checks this week, which can help. There are other things you can do as well, such as seek temporary relief with your rent or mortgage, get an SBA loan/grant if you own a small business, sell some old items that you no longer need but are in good condition, or possibly borrow money from family members, if needed.

Get Treatment Help Today

If you or someone you know has had difficulty staying sober, getting treatment help may be essential. Treatment centers like Desert Cove Recovery are open and actively providing services for those in need in Arizona and throughout the country.

Contact us today if you have questions about our program or need recovery assistance.