Opioid addiction is something that has plagued the United States for decades, and only in recent years have people started paying attention and trying to improve the situation. Trying to fix the opioid crisis in America has not been an easy task. But with the current pandemic, there have been few promising developments as well as negative ones.
Many researchers believe that it is too soon to speak in definitive terms when it comes to this epidemic, some developments lead people to think that some positives have come to light in correlation with the coronavirus pandemic and the opioid epidemic. While alcohol sales have risen, and there have been more opioid-related deaths, people are not leaving the house to buy drugs out of fear of coronavirus infection.
If you are suffering from addiction, there are resources and rehab for prescription drug abuse and addiction. While there is nothing more comforting than a face-to-face reaction with someone that has been in the same situation, unfortunately, that is something that isn’t safe right now. But OUD patients shouldn’t give up hope because there are virtual meetings that can help. Family members of loved ones can also find support with these groups as well.
According to researchers, those that suffer from drug abuse are more susceptible to contracting coronavirus, so they have to understand that there are resources available to help ease symptoms of addiction. First, family members of loved ones that suffer from opioid addiction have to realize that medical professionals already marginalize their loved ones and sometimes refuse to treat them accordingly. As a whole, there are a lot of stigmas and misconceptions associated with addiction, with addicts considered weaker individuals who lack self-control. However, researchers and psychologists believe that addiction is a disease and affects your brain chemistry.
With fewer people getting access to opioids, deaths still are on the rise. Also, many patients are refusing prescriptions to opioids outright due to all the awareness from the issue. However, many researchers believe refusing medication outright isn’t necessarily a beneficial tactic that can help in the long run. Drug abusers will find a way to get access to the drug if they have to.
While people who suffer from opioid use disorder are more vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic due to stress factors and financial issues, there is help available. Instead of feeling hopeless, many families who have a loved one with OUD can take proactive measures to improve the situation. For example, SAMHSA is there to help with immediate issues with the foundation’s National Helpline. While SAMHSA doesn’t provide continuous counseling, the organization provides instant relief for those that are struggling.
Another thing to consider if you suffer from OUD addiction is to remember that you are not alone. Everyone currently is experiencing new levels of stress that do not make them feel comfortable. Instead of succumbing to your addiction, you have to be patient with yourself and keep in constant contact with those that love you and ask for help when you need it. Your doctor is also available and a source of support.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, there is immediate help available in the form of a helpline. Contact the SAMHSA national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357)