This is a scary and unpredictable time we’re living in. In order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Arizona, like many other states, is under a stay-at-home order. This means that you should only be leaving your home for essentials like buying groceries or putting gas in your car. Staying at home also means that you should not be visiting other people or mixing households.
While these guidelines can be difficult to follow, they are causing a special kind of stress for people in recovery. Feeling scared, stressed or isolated can drive you back to substance abuse as a way to cope. That said, a pandemic is not a reason to go back to using drugs and alcohol.
Below is all the information you need to know about maintaining your sobriety, preventing relapse and knowing where to go for help during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Tips for Maintaining Your Recovery During COVID-19
Struggling with substance abuse during a pandemic is a double blow. You’re already working hard to maintain your sobriety and now you are faced with the fear and panic of a public health crisis. In addition, health experts are recommending that people socially distance themselves from others, which means that your regular support network may no longer be accessible.
It’s normal to feel discouraged, but be sure to rechannel this energy into something positive. For example, technology makes it possible to stay connected to others and continue receiving support and guidance from healthcare professionals, counselors and your 12-step groups.
Here are some tips for maintaining your sobriety during coronavirus:
- Maintain your relationships. Social distancing really means physically distancing yourself from others – NOT socially isolating yourself from friends and family. Use video chat, social media, etc. to keep in touch with your support circle.
- Attend a virtual support group. Many 12-step groups have moved their meetings online. You can find online AA groups in your local area here. Other groups like Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous have done the same.
- Schedule a telehealth visit. If you are struggling with a mental health disorder, get help right away. You can schedule a telehealth visit to treat substance abuse, mental health issues and other medical problems.
- Practice good self-care. Taking care of yourself is more important than ever. Make sure you are practicing good self-care by eating nutritious meals, exercising every day and getting enough rest.
- Follow a structured routine. It helps to have a structured routine to follow each day. This prevents boredom (which is a relapse trigger) and helps you balance your time accordingly.
How Do I Recognize the Signs of a Relapse?
Despite what many people think, relapse is not a single event that involves using drugs and alcohol. It is a process that includes three stages: emotional, mental and physical. If you can recognize the signs early on, you can prevent a physical relapse.
Here are the signs to pay attention to with each stage:
- Emotional relapse is the first of three stages. At this point, you may not be thinking about drugs and alcohol, but your emotions and behaviors may be setting you up for it. Some signs to be aware of include bottling up your emotions, not going to your recovery groups, isolating yourself from others and neglecting self-care.
- In the second stage of relapse, you start wrestling with the idea of using drugs and alcohol. Part of you wants to and part of you doesn’t. Fantasizing about returning to substances is part of this stage, as are cravings, hanging out with old friends and minimizing past consequences.
- The physical stage of relapse refers to actually using drugs and alcohol. If this happens, it does not mean you failed. But it does mean that you need more help. By recognizing the emotional and mental stages of relapse and getting professional treatment, you can avoid this last stage.
Addiction Treatment Remains Accessible During Coronavirus
Whether you are second guessing your recovery or need more support, it’s important to know that help is available during the pandemic. Because treatment centers in Scottsdale, AZ offer essential healthcare services, they remain open during this time. However, you can expect some changes depending on the facility.
For example, most treatment facilities are limiting or restricting visitors, checking clients and staff for symptoms, providing additional cleanings and moving meetings online. All treatment facilities must follow CDC guidelines for the safety and health of their clients and staff.
Acceptance Recovery Center remains open during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are the treatment options we have available:
- If you are using drugs and alcohol, or have relapsed, you may need detox to rid your body and brain of the toxins. Acceptance Recovery Center will help you safely and effectively navigate the detox process. With our holistic therapies and medications, you can get through this as comfortably as possible.
- Outpatient care. Most people don’t have the time or resources to stay in inpatient treatment for an extended period of time, especially right now. Outpatient care allows you to access high-quality treatment while living at home with your family. You can take part in outpatient treatment at any stage in your recovery.
- Sober living. If you do not have a safe, supportive household right now, you can seek outpatient care while residing in a sober living facility. Acceptance Recovery Center has sober housing available in Scottsdale. Contact us to learn more.
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our lives. But this is not an excuse to let down your guard and return to using substances. Even one time can put you at risk for overdose, death or addiction. If you feel yourself slipping or you need extra support, contact Acceptance Recovery Center for more information on our programs. You are not alone and help remains accessible and available.