How to Access Substance Abuse Treatment Safely During COVID-19
Last Updated: February 16, 2023
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a complex situation with a far-reaching impact. While coronavirus is a dangerous illness on its own, it’s also damaging millions of people who may never contract it. Rates of mental health symptoms and substance abuse are rising throughout the country due to isolation, financial stress, fear and general uncertainty.
Fortunately, treatment centers in Ohio and throughout the nation have noticed the growing need for accessible recovery resources. Facilities are taking steps to ensure patients avoid coronavirus transmission and can find effective treatment, even during a pandemic.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Ohio
As a whole, the country has seen widespread increases in mental health and substance use disorder rates. According to the CDC, 31% of Americans reported anxiety or depression symptoms and 13% began or increased amounts of drug or alcohol use in June. Altogether, 41% of Americans had felt some sort of impact on their mental or behavioral health.
In Ohio, alcohol sales are on the rise, pointing to a growing number of people who may be using substances as a way to self-medicate mental health symptoms. Suicide rates are also on the rise in many Ohio counties. Experts predict the factors surrounding coronavirus — unemployment, isolation and general uncertainty — will cause mental health concerns, suicides and substance abuse rates to continue rising.
Increasing Drug Overdoses in Ohio During the Pandemic
Ohio experienced a 55% increase in overdose deaths in the first quarter of 2020. Additionally, there was a large spike in suspected overdoses from April to June. These changes are likely due to a few different reasons. Some people may have relapsed due to stress and isolation, while others might have lost their drug tolerance, taken too much of a drug and overdosed. These overdose rates indicate that addiction treatment and recovery programs are more vital than ever.
Drug Addiction Help and Mental Health Services Will Continue
To help people access treatment and recovery services, rehab facilities and community organizations are working to create new, safer avenues for treatment. Keeping treatment open and available while increasing opportunities for treatment is important during the pandemic. It can help prevent relapse, stop the development of addiction, administer life-saving medication like naloxone and provide harm-prevention services for overdose prevention.
How Addiction Treatment Centers Are Adapting to COVID Protocol
Top addiction rehab facilities are rapidly changing their approaches to help people receive safe, effective and accessible treatment during the pandemic. The biggest breakthrough has been in telehealth services, which allow people to connect with professional therapists and addiction counselors online. Clinicians can also help people with addiction by providing medication-assisted treatment, mental health diagnoses, and other resources virtually.
In addition to offering telehealth services and free online chat rooms for recovery support groups, The Recovery Village Columbus has adjusted procedures at the facility during the pandemic. These safety measures include:
- Health screenings for patients and staff
- Face mask requirements
- Increased sanitation and cleanliness
- Visitor restrictions
Finding Ohio Substance Abuse Treatment in the COVID Era
The Recovery Village Columbus offers a full continuum of care, usually starting with a medical detox and ending with long-term aftercare programming. Our multidisciplinary team treats addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders like depression or anxiety.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and worsening mental well-being, The Recovery Village Columbus is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about programs that can work well for your needs.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.