Substance abuse and addiction were not put on hold in the midst of Covid-19. Some studies even suggest that boredom, increased time at home, and elevated levels of stress have led to increased substance abuse during this time of isolation. Navigating addiction treatment amid the pandemic adds to the confusion. So how does one navigate social distancing protocols and stay-at-home orders when seeking addiction treatment?
At Chicago Rehab Center, we believe that your health and safety should be a top priority and that addiction treatment cannot wait until the world has returned to “normal.” Help is available, even during these difficult times. Here, you will learn when it is time to seek treatment, and precautions to take when choosing a rehab center that prioritizes safety during Covid-19.
“Should I Go to Addiction Treatment During Covid-19?”
Waiting until the pandemic has passed before considering treatment options is a common response for many individuals struggling with addiction. However, there will never be an ideal time to address substance abuse. If you believe you may have an alcohol or drug dependency, the sooner the problem is addressed, the better.
If you are wondering whether or not your addiction is “severe” enough to warrant treatment, consider the following:
You are predisposed to addiction.
Addiction is often hereditary. If someone in your family also struggles with addiction and you notice yourself facing similar challenges, then professional treatment should be strongly considered.
There may be signs you are predisposed to addiction, even if your family has never struggled with substance abuse. These signs include previous experimentation with illicit drugs and alcohol, being drawn to activities that center around substances, and seeking out friend groups and scenarios that participate in substance use.
You struggle with your mental health.
Oftentimes, those who struggle with their mental health use substances inappropriately to dampen the negative effects of these types of challenges. If you regularly use alcohol or drugs to cope with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or other types of mental health struggles, then it may be time to consider an addiction treatment facility near you.
You have tried to quit before and were unsuccessful.
This could be the biggest indicator that it is time to seek help for addiction. If you have previously attempted to stop using, or if quitting is consistently on your mind, it is a surefire sign that addiction treatment is right for you.
Covid-19 brought many priorities and predispositions to light. If you identify with the above, then it is time to seek help for your addiction. There is a way to find a safe and reliable rehab center during the pandemic. We will show you how.
“What Types of Programs Should I Consider for Addiction Treatment during the Pandemic?”
When considering what type of addiction treatment is right for you, it is important to consider the severity and length of your addiction, as well as what types of substances are used. Speaking with a licensed professional will help you determine which type of program is right for you, and how to navigate these programs during Covid-19.
For some types of addictions, detox is necessary to prepare the body and the mind for treatment. Detox programs should be done under the care of a medical professional. Anyone who is undergoing detox should not do so in isolation due to the intense physical side effects, even during Covid-19. Receiving in-person help is crucial for a safe and healthy recovery.
Inpatient Addiction Programs
Inpatient programs are an ideal “next step” for those who have completed detox but require significant care and accountability. Inpatient programs during the pandemic will likely test patients and staff regularly for Covid-19 and have health guidelines in effect, such as social distancing requirements.
Outpatient Addiction Programs
Outpatient programs are a solution for individuals with a less severe addiction who do not require 24/7 accountability or those who have completed inpatient treatment. More flexibility is allowed during outpatient treatment, which allows individuals to come and go from the rehab center, and take care of other responsibilities such as work and home life.
Because of this increased flexibility, ensure that your rehab center has taken additional precautionary measures to ensure we are keeping the spread and contact to a minimum. Mask requirements, testing requirements, and the potential for virtual services allow individuals to receive sustainable treatment amid Covid-19.
“What Should I Look for in Rehab Centers During Covid-19?”
Addiction recovery and healing are important. Equally important is your health and safety during this challenging time. Look out for these characteristics when choosing a rehab center to ensure that you are receiving the addiction treatment you need in an environment that is safe for all:
They take Covid-19 seriously.
Covid-19 tends to be a controversial topic. Regardless of your view on the matter, it is important to choose a rehab center that is taking the health of its patients seriously. Call and ask the rehab facility you are considering the safety precautions they are taking to ensure you are receiving the safest care possible.
They consider mental health.
During this time of monetary challenges, isolation, and distance from families and friends, ensure you choose a facility that prioritizes mental health. Good facilities will ensure group therapy and individual therapy is available (with safety guidelines in place!) Furthermore, mental health services should address not only issues that led to the addiction, but the impact of Covid-19 on substance abuse, and strategies for coping in the future.
They provide updates and communicate regularly.
We all know that guidelines and information changes regularly, so make sure the rehab facility you choose keeps up to date with CDC guidelines, and effectively communicates any changes in programming or care.
Prioritizing a Healthy, Sustainable Recovery During Covid-19
Attending rehab during Covid-19 can be a safe and crucial way to regain your life and find newfound freedom in sobriety. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, the Chicago Rehab Center is here to help. Reach out at any time to help understand the precautions we are taking amid Covid-19, and what type of treatment may be right for you. There is no time to pursue healing like today. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Reviewed by Dr. Beth Dunlap
Dr. Beth Dunlap, a board-certified addiction medicine and family medicine physician, is the medical director at CRC Institute, where she is responsible for overseeing all the integrated medical services at the Institute. Beth completed medical school, residency, and fellowship at Northwestern University, where she continues to serve on the faculty as a member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has extensive experience in addiction medicine at all levels of care, and her clinical interests include integrated primary care and addiction medicine, harm reduction, and medication-assisted treatment.