Coronavirus and Addiction: The Risks of Avoiding Treatment

risks of avoiding treatment

Staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak means you may be limited in many of your normal daily and social activities, such as dining with friends or going to see a movie. However, getting treatment for your addiction to drugs or alcohol should continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, especially, it is critical that you focus on your recovery. The risks of avoiding treatment are significant, potentially affecting your mental and physical health.

Addiction Impacts

Addiction to opioids, prescription drugs, and alcohol continues to be a major issue across the US. Approximately twenty-three million Americans are now addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. Financially, the total overall costs of substance abuse in the United States, including lost productivity and health- and crime-related costs, exceed $600 billion annually.

Drug-involved overdose deaths continue to be devastating. There were 67,367 overdose deaths directly related to drug abuse in the US in 2018. Of those, 46,802 overdose deaths involved opioids, including prescription opioids, synthetic opioids, and heroin.

Risks of Not Getting Help

Substance abuse is associated with a range of destructive social conditions, including family disruptions, financial problems, lost productivity, failure in school, domestic violence, child abuse, and crime. Moreover, both social attitudes and legal responses to the consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs make substance abuse a complex health issue.

In treatment, you learn how to take better care of yourself, physically, emotionally, and mentally. You discover healthier ways to manage your stress and your triggers so that you can successfully recover from the negative effects of your addiction. When you avoid treatment, and remain in isolation, you are more likely to fall back into old habits. You need the support of your addiction recovery program to remain on a positive path for recovery.

Coronavirus and Addiction

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important for you to continue with your addiction treatment to stay healthy. The coronavirus affects respiratory health. The risks of avoiding treatment and continuing to use and abuse drugs such as opioid and methamphetamine can make you more vulnerable, given the effects of these drugs on your respiratory and pulmonary health. Chronic respiratory disease is already known to increase overdose mortality risk among people taking opioids, and so diminished lung capacity from COVID-19 could endanger you further.

Treatment Options

Healthcare is turning to the potential of telehealth and telemedicine to be able to continue treating those patients who cannot or should not see their physicians in person. Likewise, options for addiction treatment are shifting to accommodate the orders for social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Support group meetings are now conducted via secure, HIPAA-compliant video calling software, so you can still get the encouragement and support you need, even when you cannot join in-person meetings. For those in residential treatment, visits from family and friends are also virtual, through online chats or phone calls.

The risks of avoiding treatment are many and can be devastating for you. At BRC Recovery, we have taken steps to ensure you can continue your treatment safely during the coronavirus outbreak. We are devoted to creating a safe, clean environment for you so you can continue to receive the highest quality of care that is needed now more than ever. In addition, we continue to develop policies in response to updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Coping Tips

When you are at home, not able to socialize or perhaps even to go to work as you normally would, it is increasingly important that you develop coping techniques to continue your recovery from addiction. Your routine has been disrupted but you can create a new routine to stay healthy. Focus on preparing nutritional meals and getting exercise each day to keep yourself physically fit. Practice yoga to keep your mind clear and to create balance. Reach out to others, virtually, for positive support and encouragement so you can continue on your path to recovery during the coronavirus outbreak.

Contact BRC Recovery with Your Questions About Addiction Recovery During COVID-19

COVID-19 is intimidating. Know that even though you may be in isolation, you are not alone. At BRC Recovery, we will continue to support you through your addiction recovery, so you can get sober and build the life you’ve always wanted. We specialize in helping chronic relapsers and those who think they are resistant to treatment. Please call us at 1-866-905-4550 with your questions and to learn more about the services we have to offer you to help you in your recovery.