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How the Coronavirus Pandemic May Increase Risk Of Relapse

by | Last updated Oct 2, 2020 at 2:05PM | Published on May 25, 2020 | Drug Addiction


Lockdowns and other stay-home orders are creating intense feelings of isolation for a majority of the population. While some manage to cope, many are struggling to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly those with drug and alcohol addiction.

The ongoing global coronavirus crisis has represented one of the greatest challenges of our lifetimes. Outside of concerns regarding the virus itself, lockdowns and economic instability have led to increased feelings of fear and loneliness. Those struggling with substance abuse might be even more susceptible to succumbing to these overwhelming emotions.

How the Pandemic Affects Those in Recovery

While some found a semblance of solace in the age of the “new normal,” many might be facing new challenges. Countless have found their sound habits and routines upended, taking a core sense of stability and converting them into chaos.

From feeling alone and being isolated, concerns over being exposed at work, or being unemployed altogether. Everyone is facing a variety of unique challenges that make everyday struggles all the more challenging.

Understanding the Relapse Triggers

Many worry about the potential relapse triggers for those who live with drug and alcohol addiction. Multiple studies have established a connection between isolation and dependence. Finding feelings of isolation can often lead to worse treatment outcomes. A sound social support system is an integral part of sobriety for many. But, without group support or being able to speak with a sponsor, things can get challenging.

Social interactions, for many, serve as a source of close and intimate support. These have been replaced with more impersonal alternatives such as chat rooms and group video calls.

While this may serve as an effective stopgap measure for some. Plenty of people who are struggling to adapt to this new normal and the lack of personal connections that come with it.

The New Normal

Those who are just starting their recovery often rely on a system of internal and external accountability to help them maintain their sobriety. Unfortunately, in addition to the lack of in-person options for support systems, many are faced with a growing sense of disillusion and apathy in light of current events.

To those struggling with managing their addiction and maintaining their sobriety, there are options available for you. Now more than ever, it is essential for you to have healthy relationships in whatever capacity you can. Friends and family can help provide you with a sense of stability and support, and even chatting online with a trusted acquaintance can offer a bit of release and help create some sense of connection.

Looking into Telehealth Solutions

To those actively in treatment, try your best to increase your engagement, however possible. If in-person counseling or meetings aren’t an option, consider alternatives such as tele-counseling and virtual meetings. While not a direct replacement for the feeling and connection face-to-face engagement creates, the stability and accountability that come from the habit of attending and being honest may be of great help to many.

Relapse is a part of recovery for many of those struggling with addiction. Never forget that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Move at your own pace.

We’re Here For You

If you feel you’re at an increased risk of relapsing, don’t be afraid to reach out to a counselor, sponsor, family member, friend, or trusted acquaintance for support.

If you do slip up, don’t treat it as a failure or view yourself as one. You are a complicated human being worthy of love and compassion, especially from yourself. Try to identify what triggered the relapse for you and do your best to avoid it moving forward, then try to use the advice above to help you as you continue on your journey.

While many treatment centers are currently offering reduced services or are outright closed, other outlets continue to provide compassionate and comprehensive care utilizing new health and safety standards for both our clients and staff. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us today for the support you need and deserve. We are here for you and more than happy to help.



Brittany is a Certified Addiction Professional and Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s CEO. underlying mental health struggles that lead people to fall for addiction in the first place. She believes in a unique approach to therapy blending compassion, motivation, and accountability. Her experience allows her to provide valuable insight into the underlying mental health struggles that lead people to fall for addiction in the first place.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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