You have probably seen the news circulating about the type of person who may be more susceptible to the Coronavirus. Among these: the elderly, those already suffering from health issues, and more recently, those on a particular medication. It is not hard to see why those with drug addiction problems are also at risk.
But before we go into detail, a quick recap on the pandemic that is sweeping the world:
What is Coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a disease. It has now swept the entire globe, infecting people on every continent. First detected in China, the disease can be passed to anyone, anywhere. Its most obvious symptoms are flu-like. But the severity ranges from nearly undetectable to fatal.
Fever, coughing, and breathing difficulties are some of the lighter symptoms. But if not treated, the coronavirus can lead to pneumonia, failure of bodily organs, and death. Since the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic, people around the world have been advised by their governments to stay in quarantine. In countries such as Italy, drastic measures have been used to ensure the stop of the spread of this virus. These include facing jail time or being fined if they are outside their homes without a good reason (buying food or medicines is acceptable).
The coronavirus or COVID-19 is especially dangerous to those who smoke, regardless of whether they are smoking tobacco, marijuana, or vaping.
Those with opioid-use disorder (OUD) and methamphetamine use disorder are also vulnerable because of the virus’s effects on the respiratory system.
A big challenge remains: how to help anyone who already has a history of substance use disorder to stay healthy and reach their goals.
If this is you, and if you have been wondering how to protect yourself in this situation, we are here to help you get through. We know it is a very unstable time, and we are considering all the circumstances and challenges you will be facing.
Addiction in a Time of Coronavirus
In this article, we want to focus on some positive ways you can keep a fairly normal routine, getting help from your therapist, and doing all you can to stay healthy.
Remember, the virus attacks the respiratory tract so those who already have illnesses like diabetes, cancer, or respiratory conditions should be extra careful. If you have suffered from lung disease, cardiovascular disease, or other respiratory diseases, you need to be extra careful.
Data from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), published in JAMA, showed higher mortality rates for those with chronic respiratory disease. At this point, doctors and scientists are still studying how the virus reacts, and it is true that its behavior varies from person to person.
Yet even coronavirus aside, anyone who uses high doses of opioids risks health problems. But because we know very little right now about COVID-19, it is best to err on the side of caution, limiting movement to crowded places, keeping yourself at home if there is a real reason to go out in public. This is not just for your own health and safety, but for the health of others you may come in contact with, including the elderly and others with compromised health. If you have elderly parents at home, you want to consider how your actions affect them during this time.
Nations across the world are striving to confront the challenge of rising infections. But rather than letting the news affect you negatively or cause you fear, it is better to respond to the current events with a positive approach.
Should You Still Go to Rehab in Light of the Coronavirus?
For now, patients in the country can still attend their regular therapy sessions. In fact, maintaining your regular appointments is essential to help you stay healthy and combat substance abuse or mental health problems you are currently dealing with.
This is the beginning stages of the coronavirus affecting our country, and you need to have as much support as possible. You need to have educated medical professionals giving you the facts, not random links on your social media newsfeeds.
Don’t fall under the trap of nationwide fear and think that you should postpone or cancel attending rehab. You may even be thinking to cancel all your therapy until this issue subsides. But remember, you risk just as much—if not more—from a drug overdose or alcohol poisoning. The current statistics are over 100 fatalities from a drug overdose in America alone, every single day.
So, if you want to take control of your life and not become a statistic, you need to be in touch with your treatment specialists, especially during this time. They can help answer any questions you may have, and be the listening ear you need during this difficult period.
Now, here are some practical steps you can take to avoid catching the coronavirus or spreading it to others:
Standard Sanitary Procedures to Avoid the Corona Virus:
Since coronavirus is spread from person to person through respiratory droplets and bodily fluids, you should follow standard sanitary procedures to avoid spreading or contracting COVID-19, including:
- Wash your hands
This may sound overly cliché by now, but it is still true. You must regularly with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Every time you cough, sneeze, or sweat, wash them. If you have children at home, make sure they have been taught how to wash hands properly, as well.
This is one small item in your cupboard that will make a big difference to your health. Our treatment centers are well equipped with all the alcohol-based hand sanitizer you need! You will never have to worry about running out of stock here.
- Don’t sneeze on others
This sounds obvious, but make covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing a habit. If you must sneeze, turn away from the people you are having a conversation with. Part of combating the spread of the virus is being a responsible and considerate human being.
- Mind how you cook in your kitchen
Ensure that there is no bacteria and germs on your food. Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs will help. Cleaning thoroughly and wiping all counters with disinfectant after a trip to the market. Using house shoes indoors after coming home from outside.
At this time, you should be always in contact with your doctor about the medicine you are using. New studies are showing that patients who take ibuprofen or other paracetamols are more susceptible to the harsher effects of coronavirus. If you have small ailments like a headache, see if you can go without aspirin for now. And, when in doubt, speak with your physician.
Holistic Ways to Health
One of the effects we are seeing as a result of this virus is people becoming emotionally distressed and anxious at this time. You can do all you can to follow strict health guidelines, take proper medication, and keep all of your rehab appointments. But are you doing all you can to ensure a peaceful and calm state of mind?
This is not always easy to do on your own, we understand. And this is why we encourage you to spend time with professionals who can be a strong support to you. Besides fostering a sense of community at our Treatment Centers, being around those who know what you are going through will make it easier to cope.
You may find that some of your family members and friends cannot relate to your addiction problems, and they seem to think you are making a big deal of a situation. Be mindful that this is normal. They do not have the same experiences ad you, nor the same training that your doctors and therapists can give you.
At the same time, it is important to not burden them with any negative behavior or spread a feeling of anxiety. Everyone is going through a difficult time right now, and we need to do all we can to uplift each other and be a firm rock of support through trying times.
Holistic healing does not use traditional methods and practices; rather, it allows you to come to a state of well-being, health and wholeness naturally.
Here are some ways you can ensure that you keep your state of mind in check.
Make More Art
We are seeing in countries like Italy, where the virus has spread rapidly, that people are coping through holistic healing. Using art, music, and creative ways to stay sane while in quarantine. Do you have a favorite method of art? Sketching, painting, drawing or playing a musical instrument?
Get More Sleep
If your addiction problem was affecting your sleep before coronavirus was eve a word, there’s no promising that you will get better sleep now. If it helps, listen to some relaxing podcasts, sounds of nature, or find ways to meditate and calm your mind and body.
Look outward, not inward
Keep busy by asking yourself if there is anything you can do for your community in these dark days. Perhaps there are others who need help doing groceries? Can you make a phone call to help your sister’s kid with their homework online? Join an online creativity session or reach out to other people who may be going through a lot worse.
Share your story
Maybe you already got over your substance abuse and addictions, but there are people you know who will turn to opioids now, out of fear. Or, perhaps they are suffering from withdrawal. You can help to spread our message of transformation through the right treatments.
At Transformations Treatment Center, Holistic Therapy is a unique part of our Supplemental Programs and is available to all clients. If you are fearful about coronavirus, the first thing you should do is learn how to move your heart to wellness. Many physicians recommend holistic therapy as the first step to well-being during uncertainty. Having someone you can communicate with on a regular basis will help you to overcome anxiety or fear due to outside circumstances.
It is important to maintain whenever recommendations your physician has given you for daily exercise. You don’t have to overdo yourself, but it’s important to get fresh air and natural movement every day. Some ideas are yoga, tai chi, Pilates or stretching. Plus, they can all be done at home, in the seclusion of your living room or bedroom. If you can still get outside and have a space in nature, go. As long as you are not in the vicinity of crowds, try to move, walk, or jog.
Keeping a journal of your thoughts, questions, or even art that you make during these difficult times will be a way to keep your creative self motivated. Set aside some time each day to reflect, turn off any digital devices and distractions, and focus on writing uninterrupted. Perhaps you want to journal about any anxiety you had today and any better thoughts that came along afterward.
At this time, it is important to stay abreast of the news, but don’t let the coronavirus cause you to lose hope and sink back into old habits. If you have any questions or want to speak with one of our representatives, we can help you make sense of the chaos and shed some light on these dark times.