It’s been six months since the first confirmed case of Coronavirus was identified in the United States. Since then, the worldwide pandemic has persisted, changing the way we work, go to school, enjoy our free time, and nearly every other aspect of our daily lives. Not only has this resulted in ongoing stress, anxiety, and uncertainty over our future, it’s also created an environment that is more conducive to increased drug and alcohol use.
While it’s no surprise that many people may take to drinking or drugs during times of great struggle and hardship, it’s the social isolation and lack of support structure and healthy stress outlets that are exacerbating the problem. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or has ventured down that slippery slope of increased drug and alcohol use, it’s important to know that there is hope.
At Blair Wellness Group of Beverly Hills, we believe the key to overcoming a growing substance abuse problem is to increase awareness and provide options that help to build physical, mental, and emotional resiliency. Keep reading, and if you’re interested in learning more about Dr. Blair’s personalized and highly-effective approach to treatment, contact us to schedule an appointment.
Creating a New Group Of Users Amid a Worldwide Pandemic
During this rare time in history when the entire worldwide population has something in common, there are more people than ever before turning to drug and alcohol use to calm their nerves, help them sleep, or even escape boredom. With alcohol, in particular, there is now a reduced stigma around consumption as more people partake in virtual happy hours or post their day-drinking experiences on social media. The general feeling is that “it’s ok”. After all, we are dealing with a life-threatening pandemic.
Then there is the boredom factor. Social distancing mandates, closures of bars and restaurants, and cancellations of group social activities mean people have a lot of extra time on their hands. Much of that time may be spent in isolation, or at best, with the few members of your household. As boredom sets in, it’s easy to reach for a bottle as a way to create your own entertainment, or at the very least, to help relax your restless mind.
As more and more people choose drinking or drugs in place of going out to the movies, attending a concert, or going on vacation, it’s easy to see how even those who didn’t previously have a problem could be creating one. Even if an increase in use doesn’t progress into full-blown addiction, it can cause a variety of other issues including sleep difficulties, memory problems, personality changes, poor decision-making, as well as an increased risk of conflict and domestic violence.
Complications For Those In Recovery
For those who already had a history of alcohol, opioid, or other drug addiction, the current state of our environment has created a perfect storm. Increased stress and anxiety (common triggers for substance use), coupled with long periods of social isolation and a breakdown of a social support structure has been shown to magnify the urge to self-medicate. To make matters worse, the social distancing that is so crucial for preventing the spread of coronavirus also prevents those in recovery from attending peer-support groups, which are such a vital source of emotional support.
Although the odds seem to be stacked against those suffering from an addiction disease, it’s important to remember that there are still plenty of support and treatment options available. Like many other aspects of our daily lives, they just require people to be open to changing the way they have done things in the past — and in this instance, change can be very good.
One of the most beneficial steps you can take to continue on your road to recovery is to practice self-care. With a constant influx of distressing news plus job and family concerns, it’s easy to understand why many people don’t take the time to think about their own needs. Self-care involves any activity we do to nurture our physical, mental, or emotional health. Keep in mind that all three are connected, so tending to your physical needs often has a direct impact on your mental and emotional health.
Although the concept may seem simplistic, real benefits can be realized from things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and maintaining a regular exercise routine. From a mental health perspective, self-care may involve partaking in a media fast to give yourself a break from the continuous exposure to negative news. Another approach would be to reduce the effects of social distancing by making a focused effort to stay connected to friends and family through emails, social media, video calls, and chat rooms.
For those who have established a circle of support to achieve and maintain recovery, staying connected is particularly important. Many groups that previously met in-person are now offering online support through Zoom meetings and Facebook groups. Many doctors and addiction therapists like Dr. Blair are also offering teletherapy sessions so clients can still get the treatment they need, when they need it, without having to leave the safety of their homes.
Teletherapy As a Means To Support Recovery
We are living during uncertain and stressful times. For those in recovery, this poses additional challenges and makes them more vulnerable to relapse. If you’re struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and are looking for help, we encourage you to reach out to Blair Wellness Clinic.
Dr. Blair is a licensed psychologist who uses a variety of therapies and treatments to effectively achieve results for her clients. As an added convenience, our clinic also offers teletherapy services as a way to reach our clients when and where they need us. If you’re concerned about coming into our office, teletherapy also provides a way to continue with treatments and coaching without having to leave the safety and privacy of your home.
Take control of your life and experience what it’s like to live a life free from addiction. Contact Blair Wellness Clinic in Beverly Hills to schedule an appointment.