The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive worldwide disruption in addition to untold physical and financial devastation, negatively impacting countless areas of our lives. Unfortunately, this has hit more areas than many of us ever would have dreamed, and that includes addiction services. Due to the pandemic, hundreds of millions of people were forced to stay confined to their homes. For many, that meant losing complete access to the addiction prevention services that they had come to rely on.
The only good news is that there are aspects of addiction treatment that can be done virtually. Here’s a look at this method of treatment.
Virtual ways to manage addiction
- Continue to attend your addiction meetings and support groups. Even if these meetings are now virtual, they are absolutely better than nothing and can be a decent substitute for your real meetings.
- Set up or increase regular conversations with a mental health professional. There may be times that you can do without regular consultation with a professional, but the middle of a pandemic may not be one of those moments. Most mental health professionals are now allowing for virtual meetings, so this should be possible for you.
Resources to manage addiction at home
Despite the complications of trying to manage an addiction from home, there are still plenty of ways you can do so. Many resources still exist.
- Your friends and family are still there for you. They may be even more understanding now that they know the sort of pain that you are going through, struggling with your addiction in the midst of the pandemic. If you can, schedule regular calls with them. This will not only keep you socially connected but help you create a sense of routine and community.
- Remember, the internet has ample resources, support groups, subreddits, and more. Using your real-world contacts, see if you can find some high-quality forums that enable you to meet new friends, exchange advice, and find people you can connect with over the internet. Look for new ways to lean on each other.
How to avoid relapse while at home
It can be harder to avoid certain temptations when locked in your home, but it can be done. For example:
- Avoid other habits, people, and things that you came to associate with your addiction.
- Identify your “key people” who you can call if you ever find yourself in a crisis and tempted to use.
- Identify new routines at home. One of the most disruptive things about being locked in our houses is that it can lead to a real change in routines, and this can disrupt our flow and make it harder to concentrate on battling our addictions. Instead, find something new to focus on and put your energy into it. Develop new, stabilizing routines to help you feel centered.
How to manage loneliness and addiction at home
One of the biggest challenges during this pandemic has been managing loneliness. People have been completely cut off from their usual routines with loved ones, work, family, and friends. We can only attend so many Zoom meetings before we long for the days of face-to-face human contact.
Thankfully, there are some ways to manage this loneliness. These include:
- Finding support groups and people who are in similar emotional states to you. These are people with whom you can be comfortable and let down your guard. Finding these people can help you identify others in similar situations, so you always have someone with whom you can commiserate.
- Managing other bodily sensations, such as fatigue and hunger. This can help lessen cravings that can lead to addiction.
- Get outdoors. Getting outdoors can make you feel more connected to something bigger than yourself. It can also help to relieve feelings of loneliness.
There is no question that this pandemic can be absolutely devastating when it comes to fighting addiction. It can lead to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, and relapse. The good news is that you still have the tools to keep those feelings at a distance.
About the Author: Hannah Moses is a contributing author for Any Lenght Retreat. Hannah is navigating through her career as a public relations specialist. She assists her clients with valuable content and link profiles. Hannah resides in Memphis, TN but will always call Central Mississippi her home.
Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios only.
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