Demand for Addiction Services Increase as COVID-19 Restrictions Cut Availability of Treatment Options
As Covid-19 stay-at-home lockdowns kept most Americans isolated—even from family members–social isolation, rising unemployment and shutdowns in the service and hospitality sector contributes to a rise in substance abuse and increased rate of addictions.
In fact, experts have already voiced concerns on the secondary effects America is yet to see from COVID-19. There’s expected to be a rise in substance abuse throughout the pandemic and increased rates of addiction afterward due to the stress of isolation, boredom, decreased access to recovery resources and unemployment. And there’s already preliminary evidence pointing to this outcome in the sharp increases in alcohol sales and demand for alcohol delivery. 1
But an increase in drug and alcohol addictions will not be the only factor for much-needed counseling and support from mental health providers.
Health care researchers are predicting an increase in the number of people addicted as well as suicides because of the coronavirus quarantine. Depending on how long the pandemic lasts, projections from the Robert Graham Center range from an additional 27,644 to 154,037 deaths in the next decade as a result of despair over the pandemic. 3
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released staggering new data in August showing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s mental health, particularly for young people. Among people ages 18-24, one in four (25.5%) “seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days,” according to the survey. That translates into 82.5 million young men and women across the country contemplating ending their lives. Furthermore, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use in the prior 30 days, according to the CDC data. 1
So where do people find relief in these incredibly stressful times? Unfortunately, many Americans turn to substances such as alcohol, drugs, food and even internet addictions as a way to cope with stressful situations.
“Stress is particularly problematic for people with addictions because the primary path of managing the spread of this virus is social isolation, and isolation is the most savage of mental illness symptoms…isolation is a risk for a return to substance use or an escalation of use.” 2
As a result of social distancing orders throughout the United States, even health providers—doctors, therapists, addiction counselors, psychiatrists, and support staff—all needed to find new and different ways to meet with patients who required immediate or on-going treatment.
To help facilitate treatment and recovery efforts, many support groups, organizations, and treatment centers have shifted to an online model of providing services. Through video chats, conference calls, live video meetings, and individual counseling sessions, people dealing with a substance use disorder can continue to get help while waiting for the social distancing orders to be lifted.
While statistics show overdoses have risen 42 percent since February, Paul K. Burke, executive director at Brooklyn Teen Challenge, says the number of inquiries for help have dropped. 3
These days, most Adult & Teen Challenge units are back to functioning as before, with precautionary measures in place. Those include following Centers for Disease Control & Prevention guidelines for taking temperatures, deep cleaning of facilities, and quarantining any positive cases among staff and students for 14 days. 3
While people put off making appointments to their doctors or therapists, in fear of catching the Covid-19 virus, addiction rehab and recovery centers encourage relapsed addicts to reach out for help now. Just like any other chronic condition, alcohol, drugs and other addictions must be treated soon, before causing life-threatening situations, or suicides.
San Antonio, TX Adult & Teen Challenge is a nonprofit, affordable and effective residential program for adult women who are struggling with addictions. We provide holistic addiction and alcoholism treatment through a long-term residential experience with daily education, counseling, mentoring, and vocational training.
In a safe, single-gender, and encouraging environment in our women’s center in San Antonio, our team works with each individual, showing them the way toward a more fulfilling life based on God’s forgiveness, love and purpose.
For 60 years, the Adult & Teen Challenge addiction treatment and recovery model has proven to be highly effective for all addictions, bringing about maturity, honesty, humility, care, and total life change that lasts.
CALL NOW to learn more: (210) 624-2075