As if working to achieve sobriety isn’t enough of a challenge, tack on a pandemic. Rehab in itself is a major life change, and although it’s for the better, at the time it sure feels difficult. Add to that the hardship of enduring a pandemic and all that follows, and you have a recipe for a tough time ahead. However, the daunting task of rehab in the midst of a pandemic is not an impossible task.
Treating addiction was never simple, and an added layer, though tricky, is why you need professionals on your team. Your treatment will likely look different than it would have in the past. However, treatment is still available to you. Here are some ways you can anticipate that rehab will look different, as well as some ways it will stay the same.
How Will COVID-19 Change My Rehab Experience?
Rehab will look different for each individual during the pandemic. Some people may find it easier to avoid substances when social events and large gatherings are cancelled. Others may find the social isolation more challenging to cope with. Additionally, many people are facing obstacles that have resulted from a changed world, including financial insecurity, employment changes, personal sickness or the loss of a loved one due to the pandemic.
Whatever new and unique challenges you are facing during this time, the change itself has likely brought about stress. And stress, as we know, increases the likelihood that we will resort to drugs and alcohol.
It is clear that the pandemic will alter the rehab experience due to the increased stress brought on by changing circumstances. However, there are other ways that COVID-19 will affect rehab. The pandemic will affect our comfort level with all forms of physical and mental healthcare, as well as how we participate in addiction treatment programs.
COVID-19 has also changed the way people view essential health needs. Many people have postponed crucial care due to fear of contracting the virus. Although this is a valid fear, it should not prevent you from continuing to access services for physical and mental health. If your addiction is life-threatening, do not postpone treatment due to the Coronavirus. Treatment facilities remain open and appropriate safety precautions have been implemented. Additionally, remember to take care of your other health needs. Consult virtual doctors and therapy visits if necessary, but do not neglect your overall health.
If you are planning to attend an addiction treatment center to pursue substance use recovery, know that some aspects of your stay will have changed. Each treatment center will vary, because of the various procedures implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These fluctuations obviously change by state, and are updated as new research and protocols are issued. Though rehab treatment centers will differ, here are some commonalities you can expect to find wherever you go:
- Screenings before admission into the building, likely including a questionnaire about travel and exposure and temperature checks
- Social distancing protocols enforced
- Face mask requirements
- Increased sanitizing and cleaning in the facility
- Disallowed or restricted friends and family visits
These are only some of the measures recommended by the CDC for addiction treatment centers. These safety procedures are in no way meant to limit your access to addiction treatment, but in fact promote your access. Strict adherence to safety precautions is what allows facilities to stay open to offer potentially life-saving services as individuals confront addiction and embrace recovery.
Addiction Rehab: Still the Same, Despite COVID-19
First and foremost, the quality of services offered by addiction treatment experts will not be diminished. The expertise and education of the medical and mental health professionals involved in rehab does not change with the pandemic. If anything, the addition of experiential knowledge during stressful times has only increased with the onset of COVID-19.
Thankfully, you will have these professionals on your team, because rehab isn’t easy. Rehab will always require growing pains as you learn and practice patience, self-control, coping skills and emotional awareness. All of the skills that are essential for a full recovery from drug and alcohol abuse are hard-won virtues. They will never come overnight, and will test you in every way. Of course, this hardship makes the victory sweeter and the results lasting, but the process itself will be sure to challenge you.
Rehab is surely a journey that has its ups and downs, but no person should ever take on that journey alone. Enlisting the help of professionals should be the first step in the process. Contact Silvermist – an addiction treatment center located in Pennsylvania – to get the help you need. Call (412) 336-3729 today, to inquire about your options for treatment. If you are curious about Silvermist’s COVID-19 safety measures, check out everything we’re doing to keep you safe.