Times of crisis can easily lead to feeling out of control and it can even lead to difficulties in your recovery. Whatever that means for you being anxiety, depression or even craving, taking a few proactive measures can help you stay grounded and add some stability to see you through hard times.
Each day, or even more often if needed, pause for a few minutes to take stock of where you are emotionally.
Ask yourself two important and very simple questions:
- What am I feeling?
- What do I need?
While the coronavirus has yielded staggeringly high infection numbers around the world and even in the United States, the death rate has remained in single digits for most people and extremely low for healthy younger individuals. However, for the elderly and those with immunocompromising conditions, the risk of severe complications and even death is exponentially higher. While we are still early on in the epidemic, and we don’t know much, it is very clear that those with medical problems are at the most risk.
To that end, it is extremely important that substance abusers and their loved ones prioritize recovery and abstinence in the form of appropriate medical and therapeutic treatment as soon as possible. Research performed on substance abusers show a strong correlation with abuse and complications associated with flu and other infectious diseases. We expect this is no different with coronavirus. Ultimately, the problem rests in the fact that drugs of abuse and alcohol can suppress the immune system, making the body less able to fight off infection.
The Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR) offers a voluntary certification program for transitional living facilities that wish to follow best practices in recovery support services as outlined by the National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR). Certification shows that the standards supported by the facility comply with these best practices. Destination Hope has now received FARR certification for our transitional living program, which houses both mental health and substance abuse clients. Why does this matter? As part of our continuous drive toward the very best care for all of our clients, applying for our recovery residence certification was a logical…
With coronavirus and related shutdowns dominating the headlines over the past few weeks, it can be difficult to see past that and remember that many of the societal crises that were top of mind just a couple months ago, still exist. One of these is the extreme rise in opioid addiction and overdose that the United States has been experiencing for the past few years. As we refocus on this new and exotic medical threat to our society, the substance abuse and addiction has taken a backseat. Well there’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic needs to be dealt with immediately, ignoring the very real and continuing scourge of addiction is at our own risk.
With the continuing spread of Coronavirus / COVID-19, we understand the concerns you have about your loved one and their treatment. We also recognize the important need for continued addiction and mental health treatment. Delaying treatment for any reason can result in catastrophic circumstances.
Recovery is a lifelong process – a concept that every addict or substance abuser learns early on in treatment. It is important to understand this concept and know that the work to stay off of alcohol and drugs of abuse never ends. Even those with decades of sobriety can relapse despite their best efforts. Cravings are, unfortunately, part of the recovery process and often hit at times when they are hardest to manage. However, during treatment, you will have developed skills and coping mechanisms to keep them at bay and avoid relapse.
Addiction and mental health issues represent one of the single largest collective health problems that we, as a society, have to navigate. Despite the great deal of media coverage and interest in these issues, the epidemic is not abating. Indeed, the problem is only getting worse with a staggering rise in overdoses and overdose deaths over the past decade.
Family dynamics often play a big role in the development or worsening of the addictive behavior, but they also have the opportunity to be a part of recovery. Between the two stages however, there is often the hardest time that any family will experience. When family members and friends, having believed they can help their loved one – although sometimes they’re actually doing more damage – finally realize that they can’t help any longer.
We hear heartbreaking stories of addiction, overdose and relapse virtually every day. In most cases, these stories relate to celebrities or otherwise well-known people that have succumbed to the disease. Alternately, we hear of truly shocking behaviors that happened under the influence. Sadly, the day-to-day stories about addiction are too many to cover and have, for most people, become normal and expected. Overdose deaths often become the norm, in many people’s eyes, with the overwhelming statistics we see on drug use and addiction. This is not totally surprising. Indeed, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that almost everyone has been affected by addiction or knows someone who has battled substance abuse or addiction – either alcohol or drugs.
Families play a significant role in the circle of addiction. That, unfortunately, means that while families are critical to end destructive behavior and support long-term recovery, they may also be partially to blame for the addiction the first place. We now know that addiction manifests from a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Of course, while our genes are fully out of our control, our home environment can breed the beginnings or the worsening of addiction.
It’s a word that many parents of addicts are deathly afraid of – enabler. And, unfortunately, many family members play the role of enabler in an addict’s life. Typically, this role starts off innocuously and most enablers believe that they are doing their loved one a favor – mitigating the consequences of the addictive behavior. In doing so, these loved ones truly believe they are making their relationship with the addict more comfortable or even thinking that they may be removing them from a bad situation with the hopes that they will “see the light.” Indeed, a hallmark of an enabler is believing that they are doing the right thing, often despite outcomes and behaviors that may suggest otherwise.