A lot has changed within that past 6 months. Communities across the United States have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many people have gotten sick, many more have found themselves in the midst of a “new normal,” working from home and social distancing as much as possible. Though these strategies work to help curb the spread of the virus, they can also contribute to unexpected difficulties. For the recovery communities, the isolation and loneliness brought on by the pandemic can be a severe, and even deadly, challenge. Here are some steps to help navigate isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
ISOLATION AND ADDICTION: THE LINK
While social distancing and quarantining have helped to slow the spread of the coronavirus, these practices have also contributed to feelings of stress for some individuals, which can be a trigger for substance abuse. Addiction can feed on isolation. In fact, recent studies have shown that there can be synergy between isolation and addiction, especially when dealing with opiates. For those in recovery, isolation can bring up past negative thoughts which can lead to old ideas regarding how they view themselves and the truth of their reality. This is why it is absolutely vital to stay connected during this time of forced social distancing and quarantining. If you cannot meet with someone in person, use video conferencing to stay connected. Further, many addiction treatment centers are offering telehealth options so that patients can continue treatment while socially distancing. If you are struggling during quarantine, you are not alone, and finding a support group can help.
TIPS FOR COPING WITH LONELINESS AND ISOLATION
If isolation during quarantine or working from home have caused you to feel anxious, depressed, or more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope, consider the following strategies to deal with these feelings:
- Reach out to loved ones – Even if you can’t be physically present, talking on the phone or over video chat can help you feel connected again
- Exercise regularly – Walking, running, stretching, or doing an online workout can help relieve stress
- Take advantage of telehealth services – Many addiction treatment centers and therapists are currently offering virtual sessions
- Find a 12-step meeting – San Diego has a robust recovery community. Virtual or socially-distant meetings can provide the accountability and support you need to maintain sobriety
- Stay on a regular schedule – Make it a priority to get enough sleep, eat regular meals, and take care of yourself
If you are feeling anxious or depressed due to loneliness during the pandemic, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. San Diego Sober Living is here to help you.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
At San Diego Sober Living, our main concern has always been the health, safety, and well-being of our clients and staff. Due to the recent events of Coronavirus (COVID -19), our top priority is to keep our clients and staff safe from the spread of COVID-19. We understand the severity of the situation at hand and would like to inform you of what we are doing:
- All San Diego Sober Living properties have implemented an infection control plan that adheres to the CDC and local health department guidelines. We will be disinfecting all high contact surfaces every 30 minutes and have ample sanitizing supplies available.
- All clients and visitors will undergo a screening questionnaire for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms are confirmed during the screening, immediately alert a staff member for further instruction.
- Common symptoms include: fever (100.4 degrees F), cough, and difficulty breathing. All staff members have been trained on monitoring any signs or symptoms in the screening procedure.
- Clients and staff will be required to stay home if they are feeling ill.
- We are urging all personnel to keep 6 ft apart, as an extra precaution.
We are currently accepting patients into our sober living program. To service your concerns right now, we are working hard to adhere to all recommendations by the CDC and the state of California. Ask us about our policies and procedures we use to protect you through your process of personal growth. We appreciate your trust and patience during this unprecedented time.
IF YOU HAVE RELAPSED
Relapse is a part of recovery for many people struggling with substance use disorder. It doesn’t mean failure; it just means that you may need to restart or adjust your treatment. Consider contacting a medical health professional or a woman’s recovery program