Cherry Hill, NJ - The forced isolation caused by the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a ripple effect on mental health, substance abuse, and addiction. While the lockdown has been a required part of helping to minimize the loss of life due to COVID-19, it has affected people who were already dealing with mental health and substance use disorders and has led to more people turning to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to cope with the challenges of this unprecedented time.
Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have long been established as driving forces in substance abuse. In June 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that cases of anxiety disorder rose from 8.1 percent in 2019 to 25.5 percent during the lockdown. Depression rose similarly among respondents from 6.5 percent in 2019 to 24.3 percent in 2020. The CDC also reported that there was a 13.3 percent increase in substance abuse and first-time substance abuse during the COVID-19 lockdown.
With New York City set to fully reopen on July 1, many are wondering how substance abuse statistics will be affected. While there has been a significant increase in substance abuse during the lockdown, as restrictions are lifted, much of the stress and isolation that people were experiencing will begin to fade. However, many places where people socialize -bars, restaurants, and social events-also places people typically drink alcohol. So it's worth considering how this increased availability of alcohol will affect people as they return to their normal lifestyle again.
The effects the reopening of New York City may have on substance abuse are complex. On one hand, people may feel less inclined to use alcohol or drugs as the mental health impact of lockdown is reduced. On the other hand, the lockdown has already caused a significant spike in substance abuse, causing both an increase in substance abuse among people already dealing with substance use disorder and first-time substance abusers.
One of the signs of substance use disorder according to the guidelines in the DSM-V is that slowing down or stopping becomes difficult or seemingly impossible on one’s own. Once substance abuse increases, it can be very difficult to slow it down. In short, these cases of substance use disorder are not simply going to go away on their own.
The most likely result of the COVID-19 restrictions being lifted will be an increased need for comprehensive addiction treatment programs, harm reduction services, and social support. As people return to their mainstream life, more people will require the life-saving treatments that are offered at accredited behavioral health centers to help prevent the situation from further escalating.
Legacy Healing Center – a leading addiction treatment center in Cherry Hill, NJ and South Florida– understands what the surge in substance abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic means for the future wellbeing of people living in NYC and the Northeast. Their new location in Cherry Hill aims to help people in the surrounding area overcome substance use disorder and heal the mental health issues that so often drive it.
As New York prepares to fully re-open, it’s important to understand that substance use disorder may start from a stressful point in a person’s life, but once it takes hold, it often requires professional assistance to overcome. Ready access to accredited treatment programs that adopt a comprehensive treatment strategy, like the ones at Legacy Healing Center, will be crucial to help deal with the increase in substance use disorder stemming from the COVID-19 epidemic.
To learn more or to reach out for help, call Legacy Healing Center at (888) 534-2295 or go to www.legacyhealing.com.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
Addiction Treatment Center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Alcohol & drug rehab that is done with the whole person in mind. Call Legacy Healing Center.