You may have seen the interview with Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps recently on ESPN’s website where he shared his personal mental health struggles during the pandemic. He is one of millions of people who are having extra difficulty during this time in their recovery from substance use and other behavioral health disorders.
For Phelps, he talked about not just the maddening confinement itself, but also the removal of a vital outlet for him – swimming. For others it may have been attending church, seeing family and friends or even just walks at parks that had been closed.
As the economic fallout clashes with existing conditions and elevated tensions, many fear that the loss of life from the reaction to COVID-19 will be more than from the virus itself.
Addiction Recovery Support Goes Online
One huge void has been the temporary closing of recovery support group meetings. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people each day throughout the United States relied on their weekly or even daily support groups to help them on their journey through recovery. Many weeks later, most are still closed and people are missing the support they need, thus subjecting them to a increased risk of relapse.
While there were already many online options for people to attend meetings, thousands more have had to shift to offering virtual support groups. Although this is not an ideal option for some people, others find it even more convenient than before, though admit that they miss the in-person camaraderie.
For now, organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, SMART Recovery, Refuge Recovery, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, and others are continuing to find ways to fulfill the needs of attendees.
Treatment Centers Stepping Up
It has become more common to thank our healthcare workers for bravely facing the unknown to help save lives, and rightly so. However, people often forget that behavioral healthcare workers and addiction treatment programs in Arizona and throughout the country are also showing up every day to help save lives. Some facilities have been hit hard by travel restrictions and other barriers to accessing treatment, but many others are stepping up to be able to not only deliver services to those in immediate need, but also connecting with past clients to provide ongoing support from a distance.
The Dimensions of Recovery Support
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “recovery is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”
There are four major dimensions that support recovery:
Health — overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms and making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being. Home — having a stable and safe place to live. Purpose — conducting meaningful daily activities and having the independence, income, and resources to participate in society. Community — having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.
This current situation with the pandemic may be threatening most or all of these dimensions for millions of people, but there is hope. You can start your recovery journey with Desert Cove, and we can help you on your path to reaching your full potential.