No one was prepared for the pandemic to happen. We’ve all been just trying to adjust as we go along. Unfortunately for those who suffer from drug addiction, that adjustment has been significantly more difficult. Often those who are battling addiction suffer from mental health conditions as well. The early numbers show that alcohol sales have increased considerably, and tests that are positive for fentanyl are increasing at almost the same dramatic rate. As a result, demand for drug rehab programs increasing.
Overdoses at an All-Time High
A report from the overdose tracking system run by the University of Baltimore Center for Drug Policy and Enforcement showed an overdose increase of 18 percent in just the first three months of the pandemic. As time goes on, the numbers will continue to come in, and as a society,we’ll likely be studying the effects of the pandemic on mental health and addiction for the rest of our lives. Still, right now, there are things you can do to help yourself or a loved one if you’re struggling with drug abuse, and if you’re reading this, you’ve already likely taken the first step, and that’s admitting that you or someone you care about needs help.
Your Options for Drug Rehab Programs During the Pandemic
So what do you need to know about choosing a drug rehab program during a pandemic? Unfortunately, the delta variant is on the rise, and for the time being, the pandemic is here to stay, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t safe ways to seek help.
Drug rehab facilities have had over a year to adapt to what is needed to keep patients safe during this pandemic, and they are all doing their best to adhere to the highest standards. Mask requirements, social distancing, and other preventive measures mean that help is still available for those who need it the most right now. Each facility will have its own requirements in place concerning things like COVID testing and vaccination status, so be sure to check.
Benefits of Outpatient Programs
There are a lot of different options when it comes to drug rehab programs. Let’s talk about just a few of the ways these programs can be done.
Outpatient programs are exactly what they sound like. They are focused on treating people who have addiction issues but without the restrictions of staying at a facility. It usually entails going in regularly for appointments, meetings, and counseling sessions while working through the program requirements like you would if you lived at the centre but with the freedom to go home afterwards and sleep in your own bed.
Outpatient programs can be a powerful choice for some. With the pandemic, there are even virtual options to help keep everyone involved from getting or spreading Covid-19. It can be an excellent choice for those more at-risk individuals. On the other hand, outpatient isn’t quite as intensive as inpatient treatment, and those freedoms can hinder some.
Support and understanding are an essential part of the healing process for addiction. So for those who aren’t comfortable with the virtual world, there are other program options.
Inpatient Programs for More Intense Treatment
Inpatient programs are another type of drug rehab option where an individual with an addiction checks themselves into a facility to stay for a set amount of time, from 30 to 90 days usually. While there, they work through a customized program to help them get and stay clean. Some facilities offer medical care for those who will be undergoing withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can be difficult and dangerous without supervision and is a necessary step on the way to living a clean life.
Inpatient programs also have the benefit of providing a group environment. Everyone in the facility has a problem. Even the staff may be former addicts who have overcome their issues to help others. Though different situations in life may cause their addiction, they face the same obstacles to overcome. They all want to get their lives on track and give up using drugs, alcohol, or both. This camaraderie and connection can help people overcome their addiction. During group discussions and therapy, they often find they learn new coping mechanisms from the experience of their peers.
Dangers of Relapse
Relapse during the pandemic has been on the rise. The numbers are still coming in, but it’s a pretty clear picture that those struggling with their sobriety took a major hit when it came to the pandemic and resulting lockdowns. In addition, there’s speculation that because the pandemic and quarantine situations increased stress on those with already existing mental health issues like anxiety, PTSD, and depression, they are more inclined to turn to self-medicating than seeking out help.
Inpatient treatment facilities understand the importance of dealing with drug abuse and addressing the underlying root problems that tend to lead to addiction. As a result, they almost always have trained mental health professionals on staff to help patients identify the corecauses of their addiction and begin the process of dealing with those in healthy and safe ways.
What Comes Next: Treatment after Treatment
Drug addiction is a lifelong problem, and though many people can be recovered addicts, there is no cure for addiction. It doesn’t go away even after someone is successfully through a rehab program and has been clean for years. However, the programs teach people how to deal with their addiction in ways that aren’t self-destructive.
Group Homes and Help After Treatment
After successfully completing a rehab program, most people opt to connect with the community in other ways. For example, some choose to go to a group house after they are out of rehab. These group homes have strict rules and can help keep people on track. Usually, it involves having curfews and strict substance policies, and shared responsibilities. For someone who has relapsed, these options can help them from falling prey to the same temptations they left when entering rehab.
With deaths from overdoses climbing the deeper into the pandemic we go, if you or someone you care for is fighting with drug abuse, don’t pass up your chance to help them overcome their addiction and keep them from ending up adding to the statistics.