The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted a lot of normal activities in everyone’s daily life. As a professional in addiction treatment, you may need additional support to manage your recovery. While you are working through your addiction program, you also need to remain safe from the virus itself. The government has provided addiction resources during COVID-19 that can be very helpful to you in staying healthy throughout the pandemic.
Dealing with Stress and Anxiety
The stress of dealing with the effects of COVID-19 as a professional can aggravate your attempts to manage your addiction. Rather than turning to drugs or alcohol to relieve your anxiety, turn instead to stress management and addiction resources that provide the information you need to successfully navigate your challenges.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director offers advice and guidance on managing your stress, fear, and anxiety during COVID-19. Dr. Joshua Gordon wants to reassure you that “feelings of anxiety and uncertainty are completely normal during times like this.” He also suggests arranging telehealth sessions to continue your substance abuse and mental health treatment. Dr. Gordon suggests taking advantage of technology to stay connected because “social distancing does not have to mean social isolation, especially with modern technologies available to many of us.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also provides helpful resources for stress and coping during the coronavirus outbreak. The CDC advises that, as someone with a substance use addiction, you may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis so you need to take extra steps to care for yourself during this challenging time.
Staying physically healthy is critical to your addiction treatment and to avoiding infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC provides resources to help you understand how to protect yourself and what to do if you are sick. The main goal is to stay healthy. CDC-recommended precautions you can take toward that goal include:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water. As an alternative, you can use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Maintain social distances of at least six feet from other people when you do have to go out in public.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover, which could be a bandana or scarf, when around others.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as kitchen countertops and computer keyboards.
Virtual Support Groups
Connecting with others continues to be critical for your addiction treatment. You are not alone in needing addiction resources during COVID-19. Many support groups are shifting to online meetings just for you and others who need that support now, perhaps now more than ever. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a list of Virtual Recovery Resources, including links for online Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and other group meetings.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health
SAMHSA has also established a COVID-19 website that provides guidance and resources to assist individuals, providers, communities, and states across the country. One of these resources is a tip sheet for Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak. The guidance lists typical reactions to the coronavirus pandemic, including a desire to use alcohol or drugs to cope.
SAMHSA recommends asking your provider whether it would be possible to schedule remote appointments via Skype or FaceTime for mental health, substance use, or physical health needs. If you are feeling stressed or are in crisis, call the hotline numbers listed at the end of this tip sheet for support. If you experience symptoms of extreme stress, including trouble sleeping or eating, inability to carry out your daily activities, or using drugs or alcohol to cope, speak with your healthcare provider or call one of the hotlines for support.
Continue Addiction Treatment via Telehealth Options
When it is not safe or you do not feel comfortable traveling to your healthcare provider’s office during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should ask if they offer telehealth options. Your addiction treatment can continue using telehealth, a secure and confidential way to communicate with your treatment center support team.
Contact Providence Treatment for TeleTherapy During COVID-19
At Providence Treatment, we understand how critical it is for you to access psychological and addiction recovery support during the coronavirus outbreak. Telehealth technology, including telephone-based sessions, videoconferencing, and other web-based communication tools enables us to offer you the same quality care provided by Providence Treatment staff without requiring you to travel to our offices in the Philadelphia area.
We use a telehealth technology that enables us to remain HIPAA-compliant and ensures your confidentiality is maintained. Don’t let anxiety and addiction take over your life during COVID-19. You can overcome addiction with outpatient treatments at Providence Treatment. If you need help, contact us at 484.469.9592.