With COVID-19 still raging and the stay home order in full effect, getting to and upkeeping your program has become more and more difficult. This virus has changed almost everything about our regular routines. These times are unprecedented and we are all trying to figure out the next right step together.
What is COVID-19
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. It’s symptoms include shortness of breath, fever, and a cough. To help avoid spreading this disease:
- If you feel sick- stay home.
- Practice social distancing. Keep 6 feet between you and others.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Do not touch your face, mouth, eyes, or nose with unwashed hands.
There are a lot of different types of aftercare and programs out there for those who have just left rehab or an inpatient program. It can be difficult leaving a safe place like rehab and going right back to where some of your lowest points were. This is why aftercare programs are so highly recommended. They can help the transition back home and provide a sense of security knowing there are still people in your life that understand where you are with your sobriety.
Therapy and counseling are extremely important in regard to addiction. The drugs and alcohol are symptoms of a bigger problem. First, address the drugs and alcohol and then you can begin the healing. In most aftercare programs therapy is an extremely important part, because it helps the addict or alcoholic begin to address what brought them to rock bottom.
There are MATs (Medicated-Assisted Treatment) programs. These programs use medications like Suboxone, Methadone, or Vivitrol (and more) and different types of therapy to help the transitioning addict or alcoholic. These programs offer one-on-one therapy and group therapy. They may have people there that can help find employment, housing, and other types of help.
There are 12 Step programs. 12 Step programs are support groups made by addicts and alcoholics for addicts and alcoholics. These support groups are free. It is a community of people looking to help each other keep sober and maintain long term sobriety.
I am in Quarantine!
With all the craziness that is COVID-19, we have all had to figure out how to go about our daily lives without leaving the house as much as possible. So, what about the programs? Most programs are working with their patients. Some may be checking in with patients over the phone or scheduling appointments differently. There are ways that anyone can participate without leaving the house. With technology, there are so many different ways to still be a part of a sober community. People can use things like group facetiming or private groups. Create private online groups that anyone can use whenever they need. Get creative with that group. We can still try to stay as close to our schedules as possible. For example, everyday at 10am, a group can meet online and touch base with each other. The most important thing is that we try to upkeep the programs we are in, for ourselves and others.
It is always important to be in touch with yourself. It’s important to feel good about yourself. All of the stress and anxiety of COVID-19 is being felt by everyone. No one is alone in this- no one is alone in feeling lonely or scared. With COVID-19 on the forefront of everyone’s mind, you need to take time to focus on your program. Keep checking in with yourself. Keep in touch with the other people you know that can understand and listen to you. Taking care of your sobriety will always need to be a priority.
If you ever feel alone or feel yourself slipping backwards- reach out. When one person reaches out to another it can help that other person, too. We can get through all of this together. We all need to be there for eachother. Using the tools we have available, like technology, we can be there for each other in ways that we never could before. We can upkeep our mental health, emotional health, our programs, our relationships in new ways. Get creative and stay in touch with your community- in safe ways. If you or someone you know is struggling- please reach out.