Sadly, most of us within the recovery industry are expecting increased addiction numbers for 2020. With the quarantines, the stressors of COVID-19 and less access to treatment, it is very likely that dependencies will rise over these 12 months. But by how much is what many people are wondering. Well, in our home state of California at least, there have been some preliminary stats released and they are not encouraging.
Redding ABC affiliate KRCR shared some of the new findings released by The National Addiction Organization. According to their their research; in just the last eight months alone, addictions within the golden state have risen by as much as 15 percent (versus what what tallied in 2019). That indeed is alarming and something that reporters from the station looked for opinions on.
KRCR interviewed several leading recovery advocates within their region and received many of the same responses. Namely, that COVID-19 has put a real dent in the intimacy of treatment.
Art Sevilla runs the Empire Recovery Center in northern California. Reporting from his own facility, he explained that enrollment has decreased dramatically and there have been disconnects with virtual treatment. Nevertheless, he does take an optimistic view on the situation and is encouraging his staff to persevere.
“Having a support group during these times can in some cases can be the difference between staying on track or picking up old habits that can cost you your life,” Sevilla explained in a KRCR segment on the story. “For our participants in particular, support meetings are a huge part of their recovery. So not being able to do that is a challenge, however, the other side of that is that this gives us an opportunity to teach what adversity is and how we can overcome it. Not only to our participants, but also to our staff.”
The National Addiction Organization released similar findings for all 50 states across the U.S. California happens to have the highest increase across the west coast. As far as neighboring regions go, only Arizona topped the stat; with an alarming 18 percent increase in addictions over 2019. Nationwide, New Mexico and Virginia rank the highest; with upticks closing in on 50 percent.
We have certainly reported on the growing addiction risks of COVID-19 before and are watching closely to see just how much of an impact these past six months of quarantines will have on people’s sobriety.
As always, if you or someone close to you is facing a dependency battle right now; please do not hesitate to reach out.