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The COVID-19 pandemic that swept the world over the past year may not be over yet, but as vaccines roll out, restrictions are loosening, and many people are eager to “get back to normal”… whatever that may be now. Yet, heroin recovery statistics have taken a considerable turn since last year when the virus first caused nearly every nation to come to a standstill. The CDC stated 81 thousand overdose deaths since May 2020, the highest increase reported in 12 months. This means that people in treatment and recovery should consider preparing themselves for upcoming changes as they adjust to an outside post-pandemic environment that may involve exposure to drug misuse and related triggers.
Though the pandemic has had almost everyone feeling the dread of uncertainty for over a year now, there is a new brand of the unknown lurking regarding what the “new normal” will be. This can spur anxiety in many people, especially those relatively new to addiction recovery or who have faced relapse during lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. Everyone needs to take their time when making adjustments to their daily lives as the world slowly begins to open back up, making sure not to rush into any drastic schedule modifications. Taking things one day at a time is the best way to feel more self-assured about changes to come.
Talks of summer concerts and events returning within the next several months are undoubtedly an exciting development for many. Still, for those in recovery, the pressure to attend can be daunting. After nearly a year of dealing with stir-craziness from being urged to stay at home and avoid socializing, the potential of exposure to people engaging in social and celebratory substance misuse is a genuine concern considering the rise in reported drug and alcohol use since the pandemic started. While continued isolation isn’t recommended, avoiding environments synonymous with risky activity and sticking to more controllable situations is a safe bet for those in recovery.
Changes in Treatment
With the rise in substance misuse during the pandemic, treatment facilities anticipate an uptick in new patients. This means it’s a good idea for those in treatment and recovery to prepare for adjustments to their schedules and to consider how their routines will change if they plan to transition from telehealth back to in-person appointments in the near future. While outpatient clinics can take on many patients at once, wait times may grow for medication dispensing. Those who have been in their treatment program for a more extended period could benefit from speaking with the medical provider about making the process quicker and more streamlined with pharmacy pickups for medication.
MedMark is dedicated to providing high-quality addiction treatment with the use of medication-assisted treatment, substance use counseling, and other effective services for all attending patients. Our helpful and compassionate staff is ready to answer questions about methadone programs and how to enroll today.