Addiction is a serious epidemic throughout the United States. In fact, studies show that Americans died more from drug overdoses than car accidents in 2017. On top of that, a whopping 88,000 people pass from alcohol-related incidents each year. It’s not uncommon for some addicts to already be in touch with an estate planning attorney for when they succumb to their addiction. While we’re currently dealing with another pandemic on top of this, it makes staying safe and sober difficult for people struggling with dependency issues.
The most sobering statistic? Only 17% of people struggling with alcohol and drug dependency issues get the help that they desperately need. There is any number of reasons for people to fall into addiction. Genetics make certain individuals more likely to fall victim to temptation while many other people use drugs and alcohol to cope with hardship. Even though there are a range of addiction recovery tips on the web today, there are still countless people who aren’t getting the help they need.
Sometimes, an intervention is enough to get people on the path to recovery. In other cases, a run-in with the law can help someone turn their lives around. But once the bail bonding services you hired have released you from jail, you’ll still need to struggle with recovering from dependency issues each day.
Times were hard enough before the recent pandemic struck. Now, more than 36 million Americans are out of a job and many are facing temptation issues like never before. Rates of depression are up, almost everyone is suffering from anxiety, and others are experiencing just plain boredom from being cooped up inside. Even gaining access to therapy groups and other mental health services have been put on the backburner over the threat of COVID-19.
Without the proper addiction recovery tips and resources, it’s likely that many people will continue to struggle with recovery during quarantine. Some people might find themselves dialing their bail agent again after they were arrested following a bender.
In a recent article by Psychology Today, Timmen L. Cermak MD puts it nicely:
“[…] Addiction and co-dependence both lead to, and flourish in, isolation. As alcohol and other drug use overtake a person’s life, that life begins to narrow. The substance being used becomes the central organizing principle of one’s life,” he explains. “Friends and family who do not share the addiction become irritants, then enemies. Isolation becomes a weapon and a solution—then a prison. Social isolation protects one’s secrets and puts Miracle-Gro on addiction.”
Stress is often directly correlated with higher rates of addiction. As such, this time of self-isolation and the fear over getting sick can make some impulses seem impossible to control. Whether you’re the one struggling with recovery, or you’re trying to better support a friend or family member coping with addiction, here are some addiction recovery tips to keep in mind.
Lean on friends and family
Those closest to you will always be your first line of defense when it comes to battling addiction. Friends of the addict should reinforce their loved one’s recovery efforts since things may be spiraling at this time. It’s in your friends’ and family’s best interest to encourage the addict to keep moving forward, even if this bump in the road seems like it’s never going to end.
While you might not be able to see each other during this period of social distancing, phone calls, video chats, and texting have become a lifesaver for struggling people in recovery — literally. Those struggling with addiction should lean on their friends and family, along with professionals for help. If you happen to know another person struggling with addiction, speaking with them about positive efforts to reinforce your healthy lifestyle is key. Commiseration might be nice to chat about at the time, but feeling overwhelmed won’t help a recovering addict stay away from the bottle.
A person with an addiction should also remember their friends and family when it comes to relapsing. How would your sister or brother feel if their sibling fell off the wagon? What about your kids? Even the best elementary schools won’t teach your child to understand addiction at a young age. If you’re struggling to remember what you’re staying sober for, remember the people in your life that care about you and your wellbeing.
Stay away from social media
Right now, countless people are struggling with quarantine. And what do people do when they have free time? They drink. And then they post about drinking.
The occasional funny meme about 11am being “wine o’ clock” is funny until that’s the only material an addict sees on their social media feeds. Unfortunately, the addict won’t be able to stop other people from posting, especially if they’re following strangers on the internet. The best thing you can do during quarantine is avoiding these sites and distancing yourself from those who share this type of content. These constant reminders of drugs and alcohol simply aren’t good for someone in recovery. Shutting off the technology and taking a break can be one of the best addiction recovery tips.
Even if your friends don’t post about alcohol, however, our social media feeds are still inundated with bad news, alarming statistics, and scary updates right now. Each day, there’s news that another person in your area was diagnosed with COVID-19. Even if this news isn’t directly related to drugs and alcohol, it can still cause stress levels to rise and anxiety to flourish. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this content, avoid news outlets, turn off social media, and try to focus on the positives the best that you can.
Call a 24-hour helpline
Recovery is an endeavor that people will strive toward for the rest of their lives. As such, they simply cannot do it alone. If social isolation makes contacting a friend or family difficult, especially if they’re an essential worker, call a national helpline to talk your down from the ledge.
National helplines like SAMHSA, which stands for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, operate around the clock for people in need. This free helpline has assisted countless people struggling with addiction and other mental health crises, offering both English and Spanish speakers. According to recent statistics on their website, the service helped an average of 68,683 calls per month back in 2018 alone. For when quarantine is over, services like these can also link the person with addiction to local support meetings, community-based organizations, and local treatment centers.
You can also rely on your family doctor for similar information. While your general practitioner won’t be able to offer you in-depth advice surrounding addiction, they can recommend treatment centers and therapists that accept your insurance. They might also be able to offer you resources to help calm your nerves during quarantine, though this will vary depending on the doctor’s discretion.
You don’t always have to rely on friends and family for support: there are plenty of resources available to struggling addicts online and over the phone. All it takes is integrating healthy activities into your routine, just like you’d spend at least two minutes on teeth cleaning each morning and night.
Don’t hesitate to reach out when you need too — and even when you don’t need to. The best addiction recovery tips involve attending regular online support meetings to avoid relapse.
Invest in hobbies
Many addicts have, well, addictive personalities. This is a double-edged sword when it comes to drugs and alcohol. But this type of personality can be great when you want to dive feet-first into a new hobby.
If you have the funds, buying goods online to gather supplies is key. Try getting a beginner’s art kit along with some paints. Abstract art is super subjective so most people just starting out can have fun getting their hands dirty. Other folks with a little savings might buy a new car to start working on in the comfort of their garage, especially if it’s an older car you want to refurbish. Hobbies that involve both your mind and your hands are a great way to stay occupied and fill in the more boring parts of your day.
Various hobbies look different for everyone but now might be the perfect time to start investing in your more niche interests. You might also want to pick up on a few practical skills to learn during quarantine. You probably shouldn’t try remodeling your entire bathroom, but learning the basics of plumbing through online tutorials by professionals can help you get started. If you do end up messing things up, many plumbing companies are still open to take care of emergency jobs during quarantine.
These are just some of the hobbies that addiction recovery tips like to highlight. But you can also work on refreshing your home, starting new projects, and going for walks in a responsible manner. Try investing in that garage door installation or performing some basic housework when you feel a little claustrophobic.
Remember that hobbies alone aren’t going to keep you away from the bottle. Investing in all of these addiction recovery tips together is what is truly going to make a difference. When you’re struggling with recovery during quarantine, know that you’re not alone: there are plenty of people rooting for you and your health.
Follow these addiction recovery tips
Unless you want to wind up in jail looking for bailbonds or back in AA, relying on these addiction recovery tips is key. Many addicts with repeat offenses against the law will be unable to partake in life’s simple joys, like when they want to buy a new car or leave the country on vacation. Your actions are what define you: make them healthy ones.
Quarantine has certainly tested everyone’s limits, but we cannot let those recovering from alcohol and drug addiction slip through the cracks. The most at-risk individuals deserve our care and attention more than ever. Take care of your mental health, rely on your loved ones, contact professionals for help, and — above all else — stay healthy during this trying time. For more addiction recovery tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for support.