The country isn’t just dealing with the coronavirus pandemic; it’s also facing a mental health crisis. Rates of anxiety and depression have skyrocketed over the past few months, putting many people at risk for substance use disorder or relapse. Because of this, it’s critical that you seek help now if you need it, rather than wait until the pandemic is over.
Signing up for treatment — especially residential treatment — can be intimidating during a pandemic. And yet, the best thing you can do for your physical and mental health is to get treatment soon. Here’s why you shouldn’t delay getting treatment for your substance use disorder.
Addiction is a Progressive Disease
It can be tempting to think that if you try your hardest or give it time, your substance abuse might resolve on its own. Unfortunately this is rarely ever the case. Substance use disorder is a chronic and progressive disease. The longer it’s left untreated, the greater your chances of facing dire consequences, like ruining your relationships, losing your job or overdosing.
On the other hand, getting treatment earlier can help improve your long term outcomes. Rather than waiting to hit rock bottom, you can choose to get help before you’re facing the most devastating effects of addiction.
Anxiety Can Make Addiction Worse
Right now, more Americans than ever are dealing with anxiety. Many people are facing economic and financial uncertainties at the same time that they’re dealing with the risk of coronavirus. A poll by the American Psychiatric Association published at the end of May found that 62% of Americans are anxious about the coronavirus, with 36% saying that the pandemic is having a serious impact on their mental health.
Many people experiencing anxiety — especially untreated anxiety — turn to drugs and alcohol to help them cope. It’s no surprise that liquor sales have risen sharply during the pandemic. While it’s never a good idea to mask anxiety with substance use, it’s particularly dangerous for people who are at risk for substance use disorder or who are in recovery. Rather than reaching for the bottle right now, why not reach out for support to make coping with these unprecedented times a bit easier?
Treatment Centers Are Focused on Your Safety
Exposing yourself to new people during the pandemic might seem risky. That’s why it’s important to choose a treatment center that is focused on quality and safety. A treatment center that is certified by The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has undergone rigorous quality controls to ensure that they’re providing the highest levels of care — even during a pandemic.
Ask prospective treatment centers about how, specifically, they’ll keep you safe during this time, but know that it’s completely possible to seek help without increasing your risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
You Have a Chance To Take Control of Your Life
During the pandemic, the lack of control can be overwhelming. While you can make individual choices like staying at home or wearing a mask in public, there’s little that you can do as an individual to change the course of the pandemic or affect it’s economic fallout.
However, what you can control is your own life, and your ability to live without relying on drugs or alcohol. Reaching out to a rehab or treatment center can be empowering. When the world seems like everything is spiraling out of control, you’re able to take charge of your life and get the help that you deserve.
You Can Define Your New Normal
The pandemic has presented a chance for people to reevaluate what’s important in their lives: to decide what’s working for them and what’s not, and to build a “new normal” that they can thrive in. Connecting with quality treatment can help you build the new normal that you want — a chance to deal with underlying health issues, address trauma and build a happy and healthy life in recovery. That’s a new normal that we can all get behind!