Recovery is Impacted by COVID-19 PandemicDylan Romero
The way we live today is significantly different from a short time ago, both for people in addiction recovery and out. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed us at heightened risk, requiring us to change our behaviors dramatically. With more than a million people who have tested positive for coronavirus and 54,137 deaths around the world, taking precautions is vital.
At Concise Recovery, we hope you are taking the steps necessary for protecting your health and program. Following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is crucial to avoiding virus contraction and transmission.
Sheltering in place, social distancing, self-quarantining, and regularly washing your hands are behaviors of significant benefit. However, some of those recommendations affect people in recovery in more ways than one. If you rely on a support group for staying clean and sober, then sheltering in place and social distancing likely present complications.
How does one keep their recovery intact while in isolation? What does being cut off from your allies in sobriety do to your mental health?
One of the first things individuals learn in treatment is the importance of having a support network. You learn that daily attendance at recovery meetings is crucial to maintaining abstinence and achieving progress. Moreover, one discovers that isolating from your peers and experiencing other significant life changes will have a deleterious effect on your program and can lead to relapse.
In light of the pandemic, everyone in recovery has had to make many alterations to their day-to-day life. Most of those adjustments can have a significant impact on one’s program and compromise your serenity. The good news is that you have the power to keep what you have even in a state of isolation.
Recovery First in Isolation
Whether you have six months or six years of sustained recovery makes no difference at a time like now. A pandemic is an unprecedented event for everyone working a program. 12 Step programs didn’t even exist during the last pandemic in 1918.
The public health crisis occurring slightly more than a century ago infected roughly a quarter of the world’s population. Moreover, the 1918 H1N1 influenza is estimated to have taken anywhere from 17 million to 50 million lives, according to the American Journal of Epidemiology. It’s possible that the “Spanish Flu” killed as many as 100 million people globally.
You might be wondering why we are providing you a history lesson. The reason for giving you statistics about a pandemic from 100 years ago is because the Spanish Flu lasted two years. We have no way of knowing how long it will take to contain COVID-19, which means that social distancing and sheltering in place protocols could continue for some time.
Fortunately, we have the benefit of technology at our disposal, which is something crucial for men and women in recovery. Those who rely on a support group and therapy to maintain their abstinence have the benefit of computers, smartphones, videoconferencing, and telehealth.
You can stay connected with your peers and attend meetings virtually, using general video conferencing platforms. People from all over the world are now attending 12 Step meetings from home. We hope that you are doing the same to protect your recovery.
It’s crucial that you also contact your support group members and sponsor daily. Whenever you are feeling negative emotions, triggers, and thoughts using, immediately reach out to your peers for assistance. You are not alone!
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Please remember that you have tools for coping with stress and anxiety. Continue prioritizing a healthy diet and exercise. Doing the above and utilizing the internet will give you the strength to get through this pandemic with your recovery intact.
If you or a loved one has an alcohol or substance use disorder, then please contact Concise Recovery for assistance. We offer addiction detox and recovery treatment in Southern California. Let us help you find the healing you deserve.