Life doesn’t come to a complete stop just because the US and the rest of the world is in the middle of a pandemic. But it does change our lifestyle, how often we leave our homes, where we go, our daily activities, who we spend most of our time with and our daily routines and habits. These changes and other impacts of COVID-19 have left many people with feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression. People wondering “what’s happening with my job, how do I cope?” or “how can I keep myself and my family from being infected, how do I handle uncertainty?” are not likely to find easy or fast answers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that some people react more strongly to the stress of the crisis including:
People who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
Children and teens
People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and health care providers
People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
While someone might feel temporary relief after using drugs or alcohol, ultimately all this stress, anxiety and depression can boost an addiction and bring out new behaviors. An addiction is harder to hide if children or a spouse is at home. For example, someone who normally drops by a bar after work to have a few drinks then goes home and only has two more, now might have to sneak or hide the fact they are drinking more than their family suspected. Symptoms of an addiction include:
Tolerance: needing more of the substance to receive the desired effect
Withdrawal: when you stop taking the substance your body goes into detox mode with physical symptoms like shakes, tremors, cravings, nausea or racing heart.
Fixation: wanting the substance so badly you can’t concentrate on anything else
Spending A Great Deal of Time or Energy Using, Obtaining, or Recovering
Interpersonal Problems: when your substance use is starting arguments or is a source of contention from parent, spouse, or friend
Continued Use Despite Medical Consequences
The good news is, people with an addiction have an opportunity to get treatment and break this cycle even during COVID-19. Care Addiction is offering online courses and substance abuse treatment. It’s effective, it’s confidential, it’s a small group, and it can be done from the comfort of home.
If you or a loved one need help for an addiction or alcohol problem and want to know more about treatment options, feel free to contact us.