Many cities and countries all around the world are imposing “lockdowns” in an effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. A lockdown is defined as an emergency protocol issued by a person in authority that usually prevents people from leaving an area. A lockdown can happen for many reasons and one of these reasons is a public health emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic.
In the United States, the definition of a lockdown may vary depending on the state you are living in. Instead of using the term “lockdown, many states issued statewide “stay-at-home” orders which closed down schools, public spaces, and other non-essential businesses. Residents are ordered to work from home except for essential personnel. Only essential businesses such as food stores, supermarkets, hospitals, and gas stations can remain open.
Mass gatherings are also stopped during these “stay-at-home” orders, including addiction recovery meetings such as AA and other twelve step facilitation programs. The problem is, being in isolation can mess with your mental health and may even cause you to use drugs, drink more alcohol, or if you’re in recovery, go into relapse. If you are in recovery or struggling with substance abuse issues, this can be a difficult time for you.
So, how can you get addiction recovery support during the pandemic lockdown or stay-at-home orders? Here are some recommendations that could help.
Reach out to a sponsor or a friend
The coronavirus pandemic can cause anxiety and stress. Maybe you lost your job or your business closed down. The uncertainty of not knowing how to pay your bills can be unnerving. This could lead to you drinking more glasses of wine or using leftover anti-anxiety medications. If you are noticing that this is becoming a habit while you’re staying at home, reach out to a friend and speak about your problem. When you connect with someone and talk out your stress, it could minimize your urge to drink or take drugs.
If you are already in recovery and you are afraid that you might go into relapse, contact your sponsor or your counselor immediately. Schedule a call and talk about your situation. Don’t keep your emotions or thoughts to yourself as this might hurt you rather than help you.
Attend online recovery meetings
A new study has concluded that AA and other similar twelve-step facilitation programs may be superior to other treatments when it comes to increasing the percentage of alcohol abstinence in the long-term plus they probably perform as well as other treatments when it comes to reducing the intensity of alcohol drinking and for other alcohol-related consequences.
If you are attending addiction recovery meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or other similar programs, you might be at a loss since these meetings have been stopped for now as a way to practice social distancing.
Now that these programs are stopped, this poses a big threat to the recovery of millions of members. The good news, however, is that it is possible to attend online alternatives. AA and other addiction recovery groups are now hosting virtual meetings, Facebook Groups, and other online programs for people who are seeking fellowship and support.
If you feel that you need to attend a meeting, you can go to the Alcoholics Anonymous Intergroup website or look up support groups online. These meetings are facilitated via video conferencing platforms like Zoom, which are free and easy to join.
Take advantage of online counseling
Because everyone is advised to stay at home, it may not be possible to see a therapist or addiction counselor especially if you live in a far off area. Instead of skipping therapy altogether, you can try online therapy instead. There have been reports that many therapists are offering lower fees to accommodate potential patients who may have lost their jobs or regular income.
Contact an addiction recovery facility
If you need professional help, it is best to contact an addiction recovery facility. There are still addiction treatment centers that are accepting admissions. Morningside Recovery by Lighthouse, the Lighthouse Treatment Center, and Anaheim Lighthouse will continue to accept new admissions while implementing heightened safety protocols to ensure the safety of their staff and residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some important safety measures include the following:
- Potential clients who are known to be sick will be isolated.
- Staff who can perform their tasks from home will be encouraged to do so, while staff who are sick will be requested to be tested for Covid-19
- All patients, staff, faculty, students, volunteers, and visitors will be checked daily for fever—the most common symptom of COVID-19
- Person to person contact will be minimized unless absolutely necessary
For the full text of the Lighthouse group’s Covid-19 Safety Protocols, click here.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Morningside Recovery by Lighthouse today.