There is no section of society that has not been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. But, people that are recovering from alcohol and drug addiction have been affected the most. These people need more support now than other individuals.
A lockdown presents a moment of heightened anxiety. However, this is a more trying moment for people that are trying to regain sobriety. Some of the individuals that are trying to get sober or regain sobriety are those that turn to alcohol or drugs when faced with a crisis. Currently, many people, including those battling alcoholism and drug addiction, feel worried or anxious.
Many people have filed for unemployment. Others fear to get the virus. Some are worried about their loved ones that have chronic conditions. These are some of the stressing issues that can make some people start using drugs or lead to relapse among individuals that have managed to learn how to quit drinking on your own or using addictive substances.
Nevertheless, the battle against addiction is not lost yet. People can remain sober even in a lockdown. That’s because different organizations and health rehabs are still providing the support and services that recovering addicts need to maintain their sobriety.
How a Lockdown can Affect Recovering Addicts
When a nation is put under lockdown, it means that individuals that are struggling with addiction problems or trying to regain sobriety have to isolate at homes. As such, they might not have the necessary distractions provided by normal life.
The absence of these distractions can tempt these individuals to start using drugs or drinking alcohol again to fill this void. Some individuals can relapse as they try to adapt to the stressful environments where they are cooped up.
When most individuals stop drinking and undergo treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction, they are taught to interact, make connections, and spend more time outdoors engaging in healthy activities. On the contrary, lockdown measures require recovering addicts to stay at home. They are only allowed to leave their homes when they have essential activities to complete. What’s more, they have to avoid contact. That means they have to do the opposite of almost everything they are taught in rehab facilities.
Some Services are Still Available
To adapt to the current situation, some organizations have shifted their services online. For instance, Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous have shifted some of their services online. These organizations are allowing individuals to hold meetings online. This is a great way to keep meetings going even when people are under lockdown.
Online services are still helpful because they allow individuals that are struggling to maintain sobriety a chance to share their experiences. Technologies like Zoom and video-conferencing enable several individuals to attend virtual meetings at a go. As such, people feel connected even if they do not attend the meetings physical. Thus, they still feel like they are attending the normal face-to-face meetings.
What’s more, these meetings provide the support that some individuals need to keep going after quitting alcohol or drugs. During a lockdown, it’s easy for some recovering addicts to feel like they are alone in their sobriety journey. That’s particularly the case for individuals that do not have supportive families or friends. Attending virtual meetings assures that recovering addicts have the support of friends, sponsors, and even therapists.
When battling addicting or trying to remain sober, some individuals self-isolate. But, this might indicate that they aren’t coping properly. And, a lockdown can make their predicament worse.
Research has shown that peer support is very beneficial when it comes to addiction treatment. And even positive contact with other people can help a recovering addict that is going through trying times during a lockdown. This is very important because some individuals struggle to abstain every day.
Stakes Are Higher For Some Individuals
Implementation of lockdown measures may not be a reason to worry for some individuals that are trying to stay sober. That’s because these individuals won’t have to deal with some of their triggers like people that try to influence them to drink alcohol or use addictive substances. As such, some individuals have the time to focus on their recovery and taking care of their families.
For instance, some individuals that are trying to stay sober after quitting addictive substances or alcohol can spend time with family. Some are spending time teaching their kids, preparing meals for them, and even having fun at home. For such individuals, a lockdown has presented a chance to catch up with family members.
Some individuals had ruined relationships with their partners or loved ones before quitting drinking. This is a great time to mend those relationships. For instance, some recovering addicts are calling the persons they wronged and making things right during the lockdown. Others are building relationships afresh with spouses and children.
Exercising to Stay Active
Boredom and loneliness can lead to relapse for recovering addicts. Unfortunately, these are inevitable for some individuals. Even though virtual meetings can help individuals maintain sobriety by being occupied, they last for about an hour. That means recovering addicts still have a lot of free time.
Being idle, lonely, or bored can make a person feel tempted to use the addictive substance. To avoid this, some individuals are turning to exercise. Research has shown that physical activity and exercise can be beneficial as a form of therapy for substance use disorders.
So, when cravings strike, some individuals are engaging in physical activities like walking and walking. Even watching online videos and listening to audio-books about recovery can help.
The Bottom Line
A lockdown presents a challenging moment for everybody that wants to stay sober after trying the best way to quit drinking. However, determined recovering addicts will get through this. They just need to focus on recovery and keep in touch with sponsors, therapists, as well as, supportive friends and family members via telephone and internet conversations. They also need to engage in activities that keep them occupied and disrupt them when cravings strike. Such activities can include exercising, listening to audio-books, and watching videos about recovery.\