Going to In-Person Rehab During the Pandemic

Going to In-Person Rehab During the Pandemic

April 12, 2021

Going to In-Person Rehab During the Pandemic

Substance Abuse

In addition to already prevalent risks associated with substance misuse and chemical dependence, COVID-19 has further amplified one’s risk of substance use disorders (SUD). SUD including dependence and addiction is linked to isolation and loneliness, and overcoming that challenge has emerged as a greater concern during a pandemic. COVID-19 has forced the people battling addiction to stay indoors, and live lonely lives, with drugs and alcohol (in most cases) as a way to cope with the stress.

As a recent study suggests, the philosophy of mental health rehabilitation focuses on helping the person deal with their social skills deficits through social skills training and encouraging social interactions and reducing social distances. The home quarantine, closing down of day care facilities and absence of rehab in pandemic are the factors that are likely to have a negative impact on their clinical outcome with a risk of aggravation of symptoms and even a relapse.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 13 percent of Americans as of June 2020 had reported starting or increasing substance use in order to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19. Moreover a spike in overdoses has also been reported since the onset of the pandemic.

A reporting system referred to as ODMAP suggested an 18 percent increase nationwide in overdoses in early months of the pandemic as compared to the same months in 2019. The trend has continued throughout 2020, according to the American Medical Association, which reported in December that more than 40 U.S. states have seen increases in opioid-related mortality along with ongoing concerns for those with substance use disorders.

Guidelines for Rehab In Pandemic

Shutting down of a number of rehabs and addiction treatment centers during the pandemic has caused a startling increase in the cases of substance abuse and chemical dependence. But now as many addiction treatment centers have either started their operations or are starting in some time, people with excessive drug use should consider addiction treatment.

However, it is important to take care of you and your loved ones by taking care of mandatory COVID-19 safety guidelines issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA).

Here are the guidelines:

  1. Patients seeking treatment, or in treatment, in a residential treatment facility should be evaluated for referral to a Level 1 or 2 program (outpatient, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and partial hospital programs (PHP)).
  2. It is recommended to a rehab to utilizate telehealth visits in all settings.
  3. In case patients lack housing and require shelter in order to engage in any level of treatment, programs may need to work with local and state resources to identify housing opportunities as they change during the pandemic.
  4. Moreover in view of COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for the rehab to follow infection control protocols, particularly to rapidly triage patients who are medically unstable due to alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawals, or battling other symptoms of addiction.

For more information or in a state of emergency related to withdrawals or drug use, you can call 24/7 helpline (866) 548-0190. Alternatively, you can chat online with our admission counselor to know more about it.

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