Dr. Nicholas Colangelo Answers Questions Regarding Addiction During a Pandemic
Besides the obvious answer being, "get into treatment today", what advice would you give to someone that is currently feeling stress from isolation while struggling with addiction during this pandemic?
- Addiction loves to isolate us and a pandemic sets a perfect stage for isolation
- The pandemic is creating an anxiety filled environment magnifying fear while in isolation, which makes it more difficult for an individual to figure out their next move alone; that’s why the first step should be a call to discuss possibilities for treatment.
- Isolation and pandemic fear, plus addiction, equal a dead end game. Reaching out for help is the first step to getting professional help in a safe environment.
Is there any reason to be afraid of getting into treatment knowing that you'll more than likely be surrounded by people, which the CDC advises not to do?
We are following all the social distancing and precautionary measures recommended by the CDC, including intake and screening mechanisms that actually provide patients more safety than if they were to simply walk around outside.
How do you respond to the following? - Given the fact that we are not entirely sure when things will get back to "normal" and there is no definite timeframe as to when the stay at home orders around the country will be lifted, there are some folks that have reported hearing individuals claim that going to treatment would be a waste of time now since it's likely that they'll just end up back at home alone in 30 days..
Patients in treatment during the pandemic are introduced to Zoom meetings. After care contacts and sponsor contacts are using telemedicine and multimedia platforms to communicate. Furthermore there is a Zoom aftercare meeting for which discharged patients participate in once a week in preparation for the discipline of ongoing meetings and counseling until we can return to the newly defined “normal”. It has not been our experience that people are relapsing because of the pandemic, it has much to do with how they are introduced discipline and practice to the above. With proper treatment, one will be equipped the necessary tools to continue their journey of life-long recovery. The alternative of not receiving treatment, will never be the better option.
What advice do you have for the families, loved ones, or friends of an individual that is struggling with addiction and don't know how to help during this challenging time?
Parents, families and other loved ones should reach out to a helping hand of knowledge and experience to help them through this, especially during this stressful time because of the pandemic. We have people here at Brookdale that do just that, every day. For those with loved ones in our program, they should be sure to look into our family program, this is a great resource to help families with their struggles and how they can be a better support system for their loved ones as they move on to after-care.
How about those who are actively in recovery and are now trying to avoid relapse, but have nowhere to go for group meetings, what advice do you have for them?
Those who are in active recovery should be actively engaged some of the thousands of Zoom meetings taking place daily around the world during this pandemic. We are simply using a different kind of meeting hall during this time. As I write this, the standard of social distancing and masking is coming into play, while meetings in halls and churches throughout the country are beginning to open their doors. Time will tell how Zoom and future in-person meetings will mature within the framework of the recovery world. Regardless, it is important to stay active and involved in your recovery every day.
If there is anything else you would like to comment on, please feel free to do so..
Recovery has been here before during World War II and continued through all major conflicts leading to today. Because of what we do and how we do it, when we come out the other side of this pandemic, history tells us that we will be better and stronger as long as we are treating addiction and not allowing fear to win.
If you suspect yourself or a loved one of an addiction, do not wait to seek out professional aid. Brookdale Recovery is here to help, and the sooner an addiction is addressed, the easier it is to treat. No matter how far an addiction has progressed or the age of a patient, a chance at sobriety is always within reach.
Please contact our Admissions Specialists today at (855) 575-1292 to begin the treatment process.