Alcoholism and Drug Use Increase During COVID-19
COVID-19 and every detail of the quarantine, lockdown and pandemic have created the perfect environment for addiction.
From a mental health standpoint, anxiety, and uncertainty coupled with the isolation of curfews and stay at home orders became triggers that sparked the desire to self medicate. Many individuals who claimed to have a drink or two in order to "unwind after a long day at work" had found themselves pacing the floors of their homes; wondering if 10 am is too early to start unwinding.
For those who work in the field of addiction recovery, we all expected the pandemic to exacerbate the potential for addiction, and that is exactly what we observed. While other industries were scrambling to keep their doors open, addiction treatment facilities like Gracious Care Recovery Solutions witnessed a surge in phone calls from individuals who had never considered treatment before but had now spiraled out of control.
"I feel like a prisoner. All I've been doing for the past year is going to work, then coming home and drinking until I pass out.
I repeat this cycle every day."
"I don't know how I'm going to get the addiction treatment I need. I don't want to lose my job."
"My boss would fire me immediately if I tried to take time off for addiction treatment. I haven't even been there 90 days."
Drug Addiction: The word "addiction" comes from a Latin term that means "bound to" or "enslaved."
If you or someone you love has struggled to overcome drug addiction, you understand this concept.
In active drug addiction, I not only felt painfully helpless against this monster that had awakened inside of me, but the more I learned about the repercussions, the more I began to feel like it was a life sentence, even if I broke free.
Alcoholism and Active Duty Military
According to Military.com, a new study on Alcoholism in the Military finds that active duty military personnel drink alcohol more than workers on any other career path. The mental and physical health of our military includes Tricare approved alcohol rehab and a growing number of individuals are receiving the help they deserve.
Opiates and Opioids. What is the Difference?
The word opioid is used to classify the synthetic (or man-made) form of opiates. Opiates are a drug derived from the poppy flower. Both opioids and opiates are highly addictive. They depress the central nervous system which can cause a user’s heart rate and blood pressure to dramatically drop. Opiates and opioids can ultimately result in death by depressing an individual’s breathing and at the same time sedating them, making it impossible for them to wake up from oxygen deprivation.
Risk of Death Connected to Opiate Addiction
The Danger of Detoxing from Alcohol at Home
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to detox from. For those experiencing the most serious symptom of withdrawal – the shaking, sweating, heart palpitations, hallucinations, and marked confusion of delirium tremens, or the DTs – the death rate has been estimated to be as high as 1 in 25.
Because of this risk, safe alcohol treatment begins with medical detox. But why? What really happens that's so serious?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that nearly 15 million adolescent children have experienced forced sex. Sexual trauma greatly increases an individual's risk factor for alcoholism or drug addiction, and setting aside these "official statistics", I can personally report that every person I was in small group with during my time in treatment, both male and female, vividly reported sexual trauma as a factor.
Healing Sexual Trauma
An addiction intervention takes a good deal of planning, however, as the discussion that occurs can be a tricky and touchy one. Mapping out the conversation in advance and making sure you say the right things can reduce the amount of stress for all involved and help the conversation flow more easily.
Men and women in our nation’s military have much different stressors and lifestyles than ordinary citizens. Wartime deployment and combat put individuals in our armed forces at greater risk of developing unhealthy coping habits, such as alcohol and drugs.
In addition, the military has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs. While this means that only 2.3 percent use illicit drugs, it also means that most who are struggling with drug abuse don’t get the treatment they need. They’re too afraid they’ll lose their jobs. These policies also don’t cover legal substances that military personnel might use to deal with stress, such as alcohol or prescription pain relievers. In one study, more than half of the military members interviewed admitted to partaking in binge-drinking episodes, especially when faced with stressful situation like combat and war.