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.

By – Megan Powell
Megan Powell has a duel Bachelor’s Degree from Capital University in Marketing and Leadership & Management. Megan hopes to use this experience to excel in her role as a liaison between The Recovery Village and the local community, helping patients to get the personalized help they need. Read more
Editor – Melissa Carmona
As the content manager at Advanced Recovery Systems, Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing experience to work helping people understand substance abuse, addiction and mental health disorders. Read more

Czeisler, Mark; et al. “Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicid[…] June 24–30, 2020.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 14, 2020. Accessed November 4, 2020.

Saker, Anne. “Suicide in Ohio: 37 of 88 counties above[…]s could cause spike.” The Columbus Dispatch, July 6, 2020. Accessed November 4, 2020.

Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services. “KEY ISSUES: Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic […] Ohio’s Residents.” Accessed November 4, 2020.

Zuckerman, Jake. “Addiction kills thousands of Ohioans per[…]making things worse.” Ohio Capital Journal, September 30, 2020. Accessed November 4, 2020.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.