Coping With Isolation: Addiction Recovery During a Pandemic

coping with isolation (1)

Written By: Molly Groo

Molly is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Case Manager and Vocational Services. She has a Bachelor’s in International Relations, is a Certified Addiction Counselor, and it’s currently working towards her Master’s in Social Work. Molly’s experience allows her to provide expert knowledge about solution-based methods to help people in recovery maintain long-term sobriety.

Published on Apr 26, 2020 | Drug & Alcohol Recovery, Health and Wellness

Coping with Isolation During Coronavirus

coping with isolation (1)

America’s drug epidemic has recently added a global pandemic to its course of destruction, causing immense consequences to everyday life. This pandemic is known as COVID-19. COVID-19 or coronavirus, has shut down businesses, schools, and activities around the nation.

Coping with isolation during the COVID-19 shutdown can be especially hard for people in recovery.

Addiction often means loneliness and isolation. However, recovery is the opposite. Addicts and alcoholics rely on their support networks to stay sober and sane, especially during hard times. Unfortunately, with the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing, socializing is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.

So, how do those seeking recovery from addiction find balance coping with isolation, recovery from addiction, and staying safe in the time of coronavirus?

How Coronavirus Impacts Individual Recovery

Coping with isolation isn’t the only impact coronavirus has on recovering addicts and alcoholics. This article discusses how the virus has shut down AA meetings, addiction treatment centers, and even doctor’s offices where recovering people get the care they desperately need. For example, many drug rehabilitation centers are not accepting new patients, and many twelve-step meetings have moved online.

In addition to these complications, people who suffer from active addiction might be at even higher risk of contracting COVID-19. The National Institute on Drug Abuse shared that the use of some drugs, primarily through smoking, can increase respiratory issues. Because COVID-19 causes respiratory problems, people who have damaged their lungs through inhaling marijuana, methamphetamine, or other drugs may suffer more impacts if they get the virus.

So, the question remains- how can we stay safe while coping with isolation?

Coping With Isolation, Accessing Care, and Staying Safe

So- going outside or catching a movie isn’t exactly an option right now. But there are several things we can do to stay sober, sane, and safe during coronavirus.

The following can assist us in coping with isolation and things to do during the quarantine.

  • Check out a virtual Zoom meeting. It might not be the same as an in-person meeting, but it provides a chance to connect with others in recovery.
  • Call friends and family to check on them. Sometimes, checking on others can take us out of one’s sense of loneliness.
  • Keeping a routine. Trying to stay as “normal” as possible can help fight depression and anxiety.
  • Call your sponsor or try Telehealth services with a licensed therapist. 
  • Take a safe, socially-distanced walk. Fresh air and smiling at the neighbors (from a safe distance of 6 feet!) can boost the mood.

In addition to these skills for coping with isolation, there are several things we can do to maintain overall mental and physical health. Crises like coronavirus can impact mood and produce a sense of uncertainty and fear.

The following suggestions can keep depression and anxiety at bay:

  • Yoga, stretching, and in-home exercise
  • Meditation and prayer
  • Making art and listening to music
  • Eating regular, healthy meals and getting enough sleep
  • Taking breaks from social media
  • Reading, puzzles, games, or anything that keeps your mind occupied
  • New hobbies, like learning to bake or knit
  • Keeping in touch with friends
  • Being gentle with yourself- it’s ok if this is not your most productive month, or if you need to take a nap. Listen to your body and brain!

How Can I Get Help During Coronavirus?

What is coping with isolation is the least of your problems during coronavirus? Some people are going to need help with a drinking or drug problem, regardless of the virus. Fortunately, while some drug treatment centers have closed, many others have implemented strict policies to prevent spread and still offer quality care. If you find yourself in need, please reach out to us today- we are ready and willing to help.

Many offices provide telemedicine for treatment, medication, and general medical concerns. You don’t have to miss vital care during coronavirus, and you don’t have to sacrifice your health either. These times are tough and uncertain, but no matter what, drinking or using will never be the answer. If we unite together, support one another, and look our for our neighbor, better times are certainly ahead.

Written By: Molly Groo

Molly is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Case Manager and Vocational Services. She has a Bachelor’s in International Relations, is a Certified Addiction Counselor, and it’s currently working towards her Master’s in Social Work. Molly’s experience allows her to provide expert knowledge about solution-based methods to help people in recovery maintain long-term sobriety.
Cite This Article
Molly Groo. "Coping With Isolation: Addiction Recovery During a Pandemic." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Published on Apr 26, 2020, https://lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com/coping-with-isolation/.

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