2020 has certainly shaped up to be an eventful year. For the past three months, Americans have had to change their lifestyle because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And now there are ongoing injustices, citywide curfews and emotional trauma circulating throughout the country. This is a difficult time for everyone, but it can be an even harder for someone dealing with addiction. And, as noted outlet The Atlantic recently stated, it could be the start of a mental health crisis.
The Atlantic made a point to sum up a “perfect storm” of events that are leading more and more people to use. Of course there are the painful headlines, but there is also a lack of resources to lend the right amount of support during trying times.
Atlantic writer Norm Ornstein dubbed it a “broken system” for government-funded addiction support. One that is fragmented, overburdened and underfunded. People who have been recently furloughed or have lower incomes can fall further into despair with the knowledge that they cannot afford proper treatment.
Hospitals and doctor’s offices are also overrun with COVID-19 patients; which carries a legitimate risk for anyone battling a health crisis. And, as Ornstein pointed out, the coronavirus and accompanying civil unrest has led to many stress-related illnesses; such as ulcers, migraine headaches and complications related to drugs and alcohol.
And let’s not forget about the people who have been on the front lines this entire time. COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery workers and delivery people. This sect can be very vulnerable to a dependency right now, used primarily as an outlet to “numb their pain.”
Ornstein actually urges his readers to share their feedback and offer a voice to the powers that be. Though it’s obviously a hurdle, his hope is that government leaders can be made aware of this burgeoning crisis and begin taking steps to help those in need.
He goes on to cite newly released stats from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“Recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation illustrates the need for both a short- and long-term strategy for better behavioral-health and addiction care,” he wrote. “When asked if worry or stress related to the current climate had hurt their mental health, four in 10 in the Kaiser survey reported that worry or stress had led to ongoing problems.”
We completely understand the fear, anxiety and uncertainty people are feeling right now. And we are more than happy to offer support with some preliminary chats. If your current situation is making you feel like you need to escape with substances, please hold back and reach out for help.