Staying sober has always been a challenge for many. With the physical and mental trials caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many people who were supposedly recovering from forms of addiction were left without the professional and peer support that they require. Today, even as restrictions are easing up, the effects of the pandemic on people’s sobriety and the recovery methods we have in place, are still apparent. Fighting addiction post-pandemic means that for many in recovery, and for those who help them at home and in programs, creativity, patience, and determination have become even more important.
It doesn’t matter what kind of substance addiction, it seems the use of all forms has been accelerated due to the pandemic. For example, the pandemic’s effects on the opioid crisis in the U.S. have dramatically increased, just as alcohol addiction and cannabis consumption has.
Thankfully, there are a variety of possible paths for sobriety one can take to help in this post-pandemic era. Here are four highly effective methods to help fight post-pandemic additions.
1. Make a Routine Schedule
A routine weekly schedule is a vital tool for fighting any type of substance use disorder. A schedule is a plan which helps people develop a structure for each week. This means getting up at a certain time every day, regular eating habits, performing daily work, a recovery support program, checking in with peers, closing the day out, and even scheduling rest and family time. By having a routine schedule, the mind keeps busy and doesn’t have a chance to think about the past, dwell on problems, or make an excuse to indulge in tempting activities.
2. Smart Devices
Smartphones, tablets, and computers are amazing tools that can be used in a variety of ways to help people on the road to recovery. According to Insider, there are alcohol addiction applications like I AM Sober, SoberTool, and SoberGrid that can help monitor the person’s progress on decreasing or completely stopping alcohol intake. These applications can track sober days, set milestones, and even connect you to other sober people within your area. Smart devices turn addiction recovery into a fun game-like adventure connected with millions of people who are also trying to achieve the same goal.
Seeking help through teleconsultations and virtual medicine is an easy and convenient way to get advice in real-time from any location. There are different types of teleconsultations, such as emergency alert calls, one-time appointments for addiction recovery inquiries, and continuing care through routine check-ups. A counselor with a degree in psychology is equipped with the skills to help a person suffering from addiction from relapsing. And now, thanks to teleconsultations, it’s easier for patients to keep in contact with their counselors and keep them abreast of their progress, weaknesses, times of temptations, and moments of success.
Especially during the pandemic, teleconsultations and virtual medicine have proven useful in providing health care services such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to patients with any form of addiction while in the comfort of the patient’s home. This helps reduce the patient’s anxiety and keeps them relaxed in the environment most familiar to them. Currently, there are many avenues for teleconsultations and virtual medicine, and most are covered by major health insurance providers.
4. Support group
Having a support group can be one of the most helpful extensions for getting through addiction. Joining support groups can be an easy online activity, especially with the use of smart devices. Examples of these would include the Beat Addiction Recovery app, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). However, if you are not comfortable with the idea of sharing your experiences with strangers, a simple one-on-one Zoom meeting with a close friend or relative is also a very good option. Getting through an addiction is tough and no one wants to do it alone, so any form of moral or emotional support will always be beneficial.
Fighting an addiction in the post-pandemic era is harder than ever before. Even as COVID-19 restrictions are easing up, addiction recovery continues to be the biggest challenge. To help fight the battle, the use of routine schedules, smart devices, teleconsultations, and support groups can aid in overcoming addictions.
Written exclusively for BeatAddiction.com
by Alice Covers