Addiction didn’t stop when the coronavirus began. In fact, it has been reported that the pandemic may actually cause an increase in substance abuse. For persons working on their journey to recovery, COVID-19 is an especially frightening and lonely time. They may be experiencing more thoughts, more triggers, and more urges. In-person meetings and connections used for accountability and community strength are critical to their recovery process, and they’ve been disrupted.
I am in awe and incredibly grateful for how quickly medical professionals, therapists and experts in the recovery community moved to establish online resources, telehealth options for treatment and virtual recovery meetings. The speed in which organizations and medical experts collaborated to establish creative solutions to continue to serve Hoosiers in recovery amidst this crisis should be commended.
In addition to recognizing and thanking the healthcare and frontline workers in the public eye, I would like to thank those individuals who are behind the scenes caring for and supporting persons in recovery. These professionals are doing their silent part in keeping individuals working to overcome a substance-use disorder safe and healthy in the face of COVID-19.
If you would like to join me in expressing your appreciation and gratitude for the heroes in the recovery community, visit Facebook.com/Fairbankscd and use #HeroesInRecovery to share encouraging words and thank yous.
I also encourage you to reach out to family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers during this time. COVID-19 has changed the way people living with addiction and substance use disorders get help – and we want to make sure they continue to seek the help they need. While support groups can no longer meet in person, addiction treatment centers are using technology to bring people together for support. There are ways to get help. We’re all in this together.
Barbara Elliott, SVP, President, Fairbanks Addiction Treatment and Recovery Center