How Is the Pandemic Affecting Those Struggling With Addiction?
We often hear stories of how the pandemic has adversely affected families and businesses. While it is important to shed light on these during troubling times, one group of people that needs our support more than ever are those dealing with addiction.
Those who have been following them closely have quickly realized just how devastating the pandemic has been for them. It has eroded support systems, led to relapses, and exposed some to risks and damages far greater than their original addiction.
Has the Pandemic Made Dealing with Addiction Easier or Harder?
The pandemic has made dealing with addiction exceedingly difficult. Rehab centers have become packed, medical attention has become rare, and finding a fix has been harder than ever due to restrictions on imports, as well as closures to certain businesses (liquor stores, casinos, etc.).
Moreover, a recent study by the CDC has shown that those who use drugs may be putting themselves at increased risks of contracting COVID-19 or other serious illnesses. As a result, the pandemic has made it challenging for them to go about their normal interactions or their day-to-day routine.
Additional studies have also found that the effects of COVID-19 prevention have adversely affected their mental health as well. While many of us are dealing with anxiety, fear, loneliness, and uncertainty, during a lockdown, these feelings are amplified in those battling addiction. This is because their chemical imbalance due to recovering from drug use leads to more erratic behavior and a potential relapse for those who are trying to stay clean.
What may be most concerning though, is how they are going about acquiring their fix. Since the flow of drugs from international sources has been mostly negated, finding drugs has become as challenging as ever. This has led to some getting ripped off, others doing any kind of drugs to get a high, or even people becoming dangerous in an attempt to find their fix.
How Can We Help Those Struggling with Addiction?
Dealing with addiction has been a challenge throughout history. The pandemic has made it even more challenging. The disruption of a daily routine has led many to fall back into old habits. The best way to help someone that is struggling with their addiction is to help to focus on what they can control, and not the unknowns.
Even in the current pandemic lifestyle, we can create daily rituals (exercise, movement, hobbies) that help us add structure and flavor to isolation. Simply knowing that you have something to do every day at 11 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm can help you focus on the day and not feel like the uncertainty of the world is crashing down on you.
Most importantly though, we would recommend that anyone dealing with problems related to addiction, isolation, or uncertainty contact a professional psychologist. Effective counselling is one of the best ways to train your mind to engage in a healthier lifestyle.
While it will not be easy, we strongly believe that professional counselling is a life vest for those who feel like they are drowning with problems related to addiction.
Kuldip Counselling and Consulting has two convenient locations in Surrey and Langley. They offer counselling services and compassionate therapy in the areas of addictions counselling, and family and marriage counselling.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (604) 764-9575.