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Kick Your Habit!

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and Substance Use Disorders

Addicts Are Relapsing During COVID-19...As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to unfold, the world is locking down, forcing millions out of work and many into isolation. While social distancing isn’t easy for anyone, it is hitting one group particularity hard. People who are recovering from a substance use disorder are finding it difficult to maintain sobriety with their routine uprooted, and many of them are relapsing during COVID-19.

These relapses are thought to be brought on by the feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and boredom that many are struggling with. Social support and active involvement in the program both play a huge role in recovery. In the absence of these, ‘isolation’ and ‘emotional distress’ can be significant ‘triggers’ to relapse. Studies have shown the connection between social isolation and addiction over the years, proving that isolation is associated with worse treatment outcomes. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information stated, “In early recovery, this 'aloneness' may be acute to the extent an alcoholic/addict is not connected to other sober peers and able to commiserate with him or her, appreciate each step taken in sobriety, or encourage him or her in the same direction of responsible living. Social isolation also increased the risk of committing violent crimes.”

Signs of Relapse

Relapses are common through the alcohol and drug recovery process, so common that it is estimated that 40% to 60% of people in recovery have at least one relapse before reaching sobriety. Some estimate this number to be as high as 90%. During COVID-19, some people may be isolated at home alone while others are isolating with their family. Family members who live with a recovering drug addict or alcoholic should pay attention to the warning signs of relapse in their loved one, so they can act as a support system. Some signs include:

  • Poor eating or sleeping habits

  • Declining hygiene

  • Talking to past friends who still use

  • Constant lying

  • Bottling up emotion

  • Skipping or avoiding virtual support meetings

Avoiding Relapse During COVID-19

If you are recovering from a substance abuse disorder and are having a difficult time maintaining sobriety, know that you are not alone. Take care of your body by getting proper sleep, exercise, and eating a healthy diet. Keep in touch with friends and family and do your best to stick to a schedule. The person in recovery can benefit from maintaining a structured routine as ‘normal’ as possible. Recovering individuals can utilize different ‘tools’ to cope during this time such as: staying virtually engaged in the program, reading recovery-oriented literature, practicing prayer and meditation, engaging in healthy hobbies when possible, journalling thoughts and feelings, completing arts and crafts projects, being creative and staying present.

There is not better time to Kick the Habit of Addiction than now!

Join SANCA’s 2020 campaign and Kick the Habit of Addiction during lockdown!

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