Isolation and relapse
The coronavirus pandemic may pose a challenge for anyone in recovery from an alcohol or drug dependence, when accessing the usual support services may be more difficult due to changing restrictions.
If your state is experiencing social distancing measures, there is an increased risk of people using drugs alone as they may not be someone there to ask for help if something goes wrong.
- Dependence has social, psychological and physical dimensions and needs the right mix of strategies to address it over time, just like any other chronic condition.
- It can take time to find the right mix of strategies; there is no ‘quick fix’ to some of the underlying issues that can cause people to use alcohol and other drugs.
- Every person’s experience of treatment, recovery and dependence is different. One person may finally be able to achieve their alcohol or other drug goal after two attempts, while another may take five or six attempts, or even more. The management of recovery has to meet the specific needs of the person who is trying to work out their goal.
In times of crisis and increased stress, maintaining and strengthening social connections has never been more important. This article provides a range of suggestions to help you stay in touch and maintain a virtual social life, including virtual catch-ups, scheduled phone calls, online games and sharing activities.
Article on stress management at The Conversation
"Although alcohol initially helps us relax, after drinking, you can feel even more anxious. Alcohol releases chemicals in the brain that block anxiety. But our brain likes to be in balance. So after drinking, it reduces the amount of these chemicals to try to get back into pre-drinking balance, increasing feelings of anxiety."