How COVID-19 Can Lead to an Increase in Drug Addiction Cases

How COVID-19 Can Lead to an Increase in Drug Addiction Cases

Let’s face it – life can be a challenge, and change is here to stay. Different people react to things in different ways. Some people seem able to shrug things off, while others react with anger or internalize their struggles. We all have different coping mechanisms, be they positive mindsets or mindfulness practices. Sadly, drug use becomes part of some peoples’ coping strategies. This frequently results in a destructive addiction and lifestyle. 

The COVID outbreak has changed life for everyone. For those who are already struggling with issues, it is an unwanted additional challenge. This article looks at some of the reasons why this is the case. 

The Reduction in Help Structures

Many things that have been in place for recovering addicts have had to be deconstructed. Some hospital beds that were allocated to addicts have now been reallocated to COVID patients. 

Addicts in residential rehab centers typically stay on the site for one to three months. The issue of self-distancing and quarantine has been a game-changer for such providers. 

One step down from full-time support takes us to non-residential outpatient treatment. The professionals at Calusa Recovery say this is designed to help people trying to re-integrate into work or school whilst receiving help. Both group and individual therapy are included in such programs. Once more, COVID guidelines have implications for such provision. 

When reduced professional help is available, addicts are encouraged to sort out their issues on their own. This could include asking themselves a set of searching questions, designed to discover the root causes of why drugs are such a temptation. This obviously puts more onus on vulnerable addicts to take action. 

Increased Isolation

Anyone struggling with addiction will say that being on one’s own presents a major challenge. Therapists always stress the importance of people making friends and maintaining connections as part of their recovery process. 

Groups designed to help addicts serve to create mini-communities of people battling with the same issues. The addicts help one another and provide tips and encouragement. The group journey helps people to not feel alone with their problems. When the COVID crisis impacts such provision, a sense of increased isolation will be the result. 

A Change in Routine

People are less likely to use drugs as a coping mechanism if they have created a disciplined daily routine. This includes matters such as food, drink, alcohol consumption, and sleep patterns. 

There are also things like maintaining one’s appearance and other self-care aspects. People may be tempted to say, ‘No one is going to see me today, so why should I wash or dress?’

Sadly, COVID has disrupted most peoples’ lives and thrown them into situations where they may be unable to go out, work, or meet other people. This has forced a brand new lifestyle overnight.  

Boredom is the Devil’s Playground

The goal for a recovering addict is to once more lead a full and balanced life. Addicts might rightly ask, ‘My counselor stresses I should keep busy – but how?’ When one is reduced to spending hours alone at home with nothing to do, other things threaten to fill the gaps. There’s gambling, pornography, alcohol, or drugs one could lean on. 

People don’t just take drugs as an emotional crutch to help them get through life. They also use them as a means of escaping from boredom and lack of purpose. The Covid crisis is impacting mental health negatively

Fear and Anxiety

The global crisis presents one looming monster for us all: the fear of the unknown. It’s a genuine concern because no one knows how long the pandemic will last, or how long it will be before there is an effective vaccine. 

Many addicts have a dual diagnosis of drug addiction and mental illness. Both issues can be provoked by simply watching the news on the television. 

People may fear for their health. Drug abuse can lead to a lifestyle that may result in having HIV, hypertension, Diabetes, or Hepatitis C. People with secondary issues and compromised immune systems have more to fear from COVID than healthy people do. In addition to these concerns, people are also worried about their friends and families. The idea of losing someone close to them may scare them. 

How COVID-19 Can Lead to an Increase in Drug Addiction Cases

As we have seen, the global pandemic has created a breeding ground for fear, isolation, and worry. People are being told to keep to themselves as much as possible. Routines have been changed and more self-discipline and adaptability have been required. It is crucial to the support networks to discover new ways to change and adapt to what is going on in the world, so they can help those who need it most.



South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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