As the states begin lifting restrictions, many experts predict surges for addiction treatment after the COVID-19 pandemic.
People who are struggling with addiction are faced with a myriad of stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic. As states are beginning to loosen restrictions on stay-at-home order and non-essential business closures, many industries are projected see immense amounts of activity; of one them being the addiction and substance abuse treatment industry. This leaves many looking for rehabilitation services with a question, will I be able to get effective addiction treatment after the COVID-19?
The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought an immense degree of stress for individuals in the recovery community. In addition, those needing support for addiction, the practitioners and facilities providing care have also needed to adjust the way their services are provided. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the services offered by substance abuse treatment facilities had to drastically change in order to preserve the health and safety of their clients. For many drug treatment facilities throughout the united states, direct in-person treatment, detox services and in-person support groups were no longer a safe option for both clients and clinicians.
For treatment facilities like Stonewall Institute, we have done our best to ensure that the continuity of care is continued while preserving the health and wellness of our clients. Our facility was fortunate enough to adapt our in-person services by taking numerous sanitary and social distancing measures to remain compliant with federal and state mandates in response to the pandemic. In addition, to provide further care to individuals at risk of contracting the virus, we are now also officially approved to provide telehealth services to anyone seeking addiction treatment in Arizona. Due to our practices, we have been able to keep our facility open and available to those who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Case Study: Drug Treatment Facilities in the U.S. Adapting to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Unfortunately, other facilities throughout the U.S. have found themselves unable to provide their usual services due the pandemic. For example, numerous treatment centers in Ohio were forced to limit the availability of detox and treatment services, forcing facilities to reevaluate how to provide care for clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One example comes from an interview with WOSU Public Media, during an interview with Ohio local treatment facility owner, Daniel Lettenberger-Klein.
“We reduced our capacity in our detox from 20 beds down to 12 so that we could ensure appropriate physical distancing,” “And so that lowered our ability to take care of clients.” he said.
In addition to changes made to detox services, Lettenberger-Klein also remarks on limitations with residential housing arrangements.
“We have a 46-bed men’s dormitory on campus,” he said. “We are only admitting (to the dormitory) through our detox, so that we had the appropriate amount of time to screen clients to ensure we weren’t possibly infecting more people.”
In addition, many local support groups in Ohio have also been forced to adapt their practice by transitioning to online video meetings and other virtual gatherings. However, it is noted that many have had trouble adapting to the technological requirements for these gatherings; so many individuals have been left without proper care or support. Many addiction experts in Ohio have noted that a number of known individuals have relapsed, most likely due to the unprecedented levels of stress imposed on them from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
However, as a silver lining during the pandemic, Ohio officials did note that the circulation of psychoactive substances was also found to be reduced, due to many dealers being unable to acquire their supply of drugs.
The Need for Addiction Treatment After the COVID-19 Pandemic
Unfortunately, reports from Ohio are now starting to note that rates of drug abuse and overdoses have begun to increase. Local medical examiners in Ohio have reported a stark increase in death due to drug overdoses. Thomas Gilson, one of the mentioned medical examiners, noted that within a 48-hour period (between May 16th and May 19th) there were nine reported overdose deaths within Cuyahoga County.
Many experts speculate that as states are beginning to reopen public, many individuals are returning to substance use at familiar places, whether it be continued use or for individuals undergoing a relapse.
Local Ohio medical officials like Dr. Michael Biscaro are warning of an upcoming imbalance between needs for substance abuse treatment, and the ability for treatment centers to make accommodations.
“We don’t really know what’s happening to people out there,” Biscaro said. “And I think we’re about to find out. What the mental health and addiction community is trying to prepare for is that surge because we know that, amidst an epidemic, amidst a crisis or a tragedy, there is almost always a spike in mental health symptoms, trauma reactions, addictions.”
This presents a potential problem for individuals and treatment centers alike. While rates of substance abuse are continuing to rise, many facilities are still restricted in terms of care that they can provide during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if rates of Corona Virus infections decline, there may be more flexibility for treatment centers to provide for more people. But in the meantime, many treatment facilities will need to adapt to this imbalance in order to continue helping people who need help with drug and alcohol addiction.
How to Seek Help for Drug and Alcohol Treatment After the COVID-19 Pandemic.
For many looking to seek help for substance use and addiction, it may be an intimidating prospect during these times. However, even if things seem daunting or helpless, there is absolutely help available. If anyone is weighing the worth of recovery during this time, just know that it is absolutely worth it. While times during the COVID-19 pandemic may be stressful, it is not worth being under the illusion of the perceived relief that addiction may entice one with.
If you or a loved one is ready to break free from the grip of addiction, there are a number of steps one can take in order to find help. While some treatment facilities may have limited or closed services, many treatment centers are still operational. While many company websites clearly outline available services, it is worth it to directly contact facilities to inquire about specific accommodations via phone.
And if one treatment center does not have the services you need or do have no available capacity, odds are that other treatment centers nearby may have the accommodations you need. Many treatment professionals can also refer you to other facilities if they are unable to help you.
The most important thing you can do is to reach out to addiction professionals who can help guide you to the most effective first step and being free from the grip of drug and alcohol addiction. People at treatment more than anything want to ensure that you can get the care you need, no matter the outside circumstances.
If you or a loved one need to speak to seasoned professionals in the addiction industry, please do not hesitate to reach out to our treatment team at 602-535-6468 and we can help guide you to rebuilding your life with recovery.
How Stonewall Institute is Committed to Giving Treatment After the COVID-19 Pandemic.
At Stonewall Institute, we completely understand how many people may be feeling. In addition to suffering caused by drug and alcohol addiction, there is also an added layer of fear and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, we fully believe that even during these times, recovery is possible and we can help you get there. Not only is our staff experienced in the field of addiction treatment, but we also are able to provide care during the restrictions caused by the stay-at-home effect in Arizona.
Our outpatient services do not require a severe limitation of room-space or bedding for clients (as we do not currently provide residential care). While we still fully abide by frequent sanitation and social distancing practices, we are still able to serve a great number of clients who need addiction recovery care.
In addition, our facility has also branched out into telehealth practice. Stonewall Institute is now officially licensed to practice telehealth with clients throughout the state of Arizona. For individuals who are unable to acquire in-person psychotherapy due to compromised immune systems, infections or long-distance will be able to get help by communicating in depth with licensed practitioners.
And if you find that you need a different focus in your treatment that we cannot provide, our team is happy to help refer you to other available facilities and resources; the most important thing is that you get the best help possible.
Even during these times, whether it be fighting the perceived hopelessness of addiction during the pandemic, or finding addiction treatment after the COVID-19 pandemic, our team at Stonewall Institute is ready to help you and your loved ones. There is no need to live under the bondage of addiction any longer. Please do not hesitate to give us a call at 602-535-6468 and out intake team will help you get started on the path of recovery.