Self-isolation, lockdown, and social distancing – all of these new terms and phrases have brought on some distressing health concerns the world over. If you or your loved one were struggling with alcohol addiction prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this concern has only been increased.
The everyday life of someone who is recovering from alcohol addiction is one that leans heavily on communication with family, friends, and outside group therapy support systems.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the common form of communication – face-to-face contact – is no longer recommended. The support groups or individuals that you lean so heavily on in times of stress aren’t as readily available as they were in the past.
Without your network of support, the temptation to slip back into bad habits is powerful. Because of this, you may begin to feel that consuming alcohol is a good way to escape from the tumultuous happenings going on all around you.
Coastal Detox, located in Stuart, Florida, can provide the support you or your loved one needs during this time of uncertainty. Our medical treatment program and clinical therapy, combined with various holistic options, will help in the development of an individualized plan designed just for you.
The coronavirus has inundated our lives for months now and is not going to go away any time soon. The mental and physical effects it is having on those who are trying to maintain a grasp on the recovery stage of alcoholism are many. It is important to recognize these struggles and find creative ways to remain strong in your battle to stay sober.
Combatting the Fear of the Unknown When Dealing With Alcoholism and Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has everyone feeling helpless in the sense that this is a battle like no other we have ever fought. And it is a worldwide battle at that. The media continually bombards us with information and concerns over how we will win this battle with a virus that, as of today, we have no control over, or means to stop.
The overabundance of information about the coronavirus has combined with the potential loss of work and income. The concern of keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy contributes to the worries.
If you are already struggling to maintain control over your battle with alcohol addiction, the added stress of the coronavirus can be overwhelming. However, self-medication, in the form of alcohol consumption, is not the answer. To combat the fear of the unknown it is best to face things head-on. Acknowledge your concerns and reach out to your support system.
The Psychological Challenges of Self Isolation and Alcoholism During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic is having an increasingly negative psychological impact on everyone. Some of the effects include:
Depending on the structure and status of your family life, you may be self-isolating alone. The long days and nights without consistent contact from friends and family can create a sense of abandonment and an extreme sense of loneliness.
For those who are battling alcohol addiction, this may lead to an increased desire to dull the worries and slip out of recovery and back into old habits.
You may also be struggling with symptoms of depression during this time of uncertainty. Humans are social creatures, but because of the need for social distancing, and the request to avoid interacting with our friends and family outside of our homes, it is possible to experience feelings of depression. It is important to remember that alcohol is a depressant in itself; thus drinking would be self-destructive.
A feeling of uneasiness is common among everyone while we’re faced with this virus that, as of now, has no cure. This sense of uneasiness brings with it feelings of anxiousness.
Anxiety from the coronavirus, coupled with anxiety due to addiction, can be enough to alter the status of your recovery and cause a relapse. Unfortunately, alcohol will only add to the stress.
Alcohol will not help you cope with your feelings of anxiety. Consuming alcohol has the opposite effect and only increases the problem.
What Effect Does the Absence of Face-to-Face Interaction Have On Alcoholism During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
During the pre-pandemic days, we took for granted the ease with which we could freely visit with our friends and family. Many new directives have been placed on the general population in an attempt to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
Society was mandated to go into lockdown. People were also asked to adhere to the social distancing rule of maintaining 6 feet from others. This caused face-to-face interactions to become a thing of days gone by.
If by chance, you have to self-quarantine due to being exposed to the coronavirus, then your physical interactions with others are completely removed.
The lack of physical contact can have a detrimental effect on an individual. This is especially true if you rely on a group or individual in-person therapy sessions to support your recovery process from alcohol addiction.
Social interaction is what you thrive on to give you support during critical times and events. The advice of others is paramount to helping you move forward. Unfortunately, social interaction is also what the COVID-19 coronavirus thrives on.
Feeling A Lack of Control May Increase Relapse Into Alcohol Addiction During the Coronavirus Pandemic
You have a healthier mental outlook when there is a sense of control over your personal life. When things begin to feel out of control, you may find yourself looking for outside resources that you believe will help you to feel more settled.
For someone who is an alcoholic, that outside resource is alcoholic beverages. During the pandemic, these beverages are more readily available than ever before. Individuals can now obtain alcohol through delivery services and take out.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the overwhelming sense of loss of control may be the catalyst for your addiction to resurface. Most everything that was deemed “normal” has quickly disappeared.
One of the therapy options that we offer at Coastal Detox is relapse prevention. This form of therapy will alert you to the things in your physical environment and psychological makeup that may cause you to relapse. With this support and guidance, you can learn how to handle these moments and events so that you can prevent a recurrence from taking place. Our goal for you is to help you maintain the recovery stage that you have worked so hard to achieve.
Can Excessive Alcohol Consumption During the Coronavirus Pandemic Increase the Risk of Infection?
Studies show that long-term, excessive use of alcohol can increase the potential for many health issues such as:
- Liver disease
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
It has been proven that people with such medical conditions are more easily, and more dramatically affected by the coronavirus than those who are healthy. Alcohol weakens the immune system. Therefore the risk of infection for someone who suffers from alcoholism is high.
What Are the Respiratory Risks From Coronavirus for Those Addicted to Alcohol?
Alcohol abuse can increase the risk of health-related problems with your heart and lungs. Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol can damage the cells that line the surface of your lungs, and this can cause a weakened immune system.
When the coronavirus attacks, it finds this compromised respiratory system and latches on. Your body is not strong enough to defend itself against the virus, and pneumonia or other lung complications can develop.
How Can Coastal Detox Help?
As a country (and a world), we have grown accustomed to natural and man-made disasters where, over time, we can “fix” the mess that is left behind. The coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. Unlike other disasters, the coronavirus pandemic does not yet appear to have finality.
Facing the enormity of the fragile state of the country is overwhelming. Choosing to lessen those feelings by relapsing and re-entering the world of alcohol abuse is not the answer. There are many ways to remain sober during the coronavirus pandemic. Your support system is still intact. It is simply a matter of finding creative ways to stay in touch with those resources while also remaining safely apart.
Coastal Detox is open, and our staff of trained medical professionals is available to answer any questions you may have. We welcome the opportunity to talk to you about the options and what our facility and staff can offer to you or your loved one during this time of crisis. Please contact us today!