July is proving to be a challenging month for Americans due to the dramatic rise in new COVID-19 cases. Even if you have not contracted COVID-19, you might be finding it hard to cope with life today. Those living with addiction or mental health disorders are especially impacted.
In the United States, 3,452,000 have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, and 138,000 people have died. Many states are struggling to curb spikes in new cases, which has led to countless individuals living in fear and anxiety. Those who have lost someone they care about are contending with grief and trauma.
While many men and women have the ability to cope with the myriad of challenging feelings they experience, a large number are struggling. Alcohol and drug use are on the rise across America, as are depression and anxiety.
Moreover, during the pandemic, the rate of opioid overdoses may have increased 30-40 percent, according to Dr. Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The data on relapse rates isn’t clear yet, but a return to substance abuse amongst those in recovery is expected.
“We know also that from some of the reports from the states that there have been increases in overdose fatalities, that there have been increases in patients relapsing that had already achieved recovery. So we are hearing these distress calls from throughout the country,” said Dr. Volkow.
Without any precedence to turn to for managing life in recovery during a pandemic, countless people are at risk of problems. Naturally, staying on track is not easy when contending with isolation, fear, and financial uncertainty—some 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment.
Alcohol and Drug Use Compounds Your Problems
People recovering from alcohol and substance use disorders know how bad things can get from drinking and drugging. As such, those men and women commit to taking steps each day to keep their addiction at bay. With steadfast dedication and the support of others, it’s possible to achieve long-term progress.
The pandemic has led to a new reality with regards to working a program of recovery for practically everyone. In-person meetings are taking place in some areas, but many have to rely on virtual meetings for support and daily maintenance. What’s more, each person has to take action at home to mitigate the risk of negative thoughts and behaviors.
A surge in new cases in states like California, Florida, and Texas means that it’s unlikely that “stay at home” orders will end anytime soon. Since isolation can lead to loneliness and depression, it’s vital to keep busy to avoid fixating on your problems. Calling your support network regularly, eating healthy, and exercise can be of significant benefit. One must do everything in their power to avoid a return to drug and alcohol use. If thoughts of using cross your mind, please remember to “replay the tape” to remind yourself of the outcome.
Reading books rather than binging on television is also helpful by providing you with new perspectives on behavioral and mental health disorders. There are many books available that are beneficial to men and women in recovery and those who are considering beginning the journey. Back in April, we provided a list of titles worth your time.
Those living with depression or co-occurring depressive symptoms may find interest in a new book by George Scialabba, an essayist and literary critic. The author’s works have appeared in many well-respected publications, and his latest writing deals with his battle with mental illness. In How To Be Depressed, Scialabba shares his experience with readers and offers tips for managing depression. The American Interest writes:
“A new memoir by George Scialabba, an unsung giant of criticism, is a gripping portrait of life under the spell of depression—and also a model of true intellectual inquiry . . . [O]ne is grateful for the characteristically insightful and socially committed thought that Scialabba brings to the thorny issue of clinical depression.”
Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment
At Hope By The Sea, our supportive team of professionals can help you begin a journey of recovery or get back on track following a relapse. Today, please contact us to learn more about our addiction and co-occurring mental health disorder treatment programs in Southern California.
We would also like to express our deepest condolences to those who have lost a loved one to the coronavirus and prayers for individuals recovering from COVID-19.