UKAT, a major addiction care provider, has noted a rise in people needing help for addiction in lockdown and want to investigate how to help them.
Millions of people around the world have had a sense of trepidation throughout the pandemic. Now, although we have seen some restrictions being lifted, it is still a challenging time for those needing help for addiction.
The crisis can be especially difficult for people with a dependency. UKAT, who operate a large number of residential rehab centres, are afraid we may see a growth in the number of people requiring treatment for drug and alcohol addiction following lockdown.
It is feared that the number battling addiction and looking for help could reach levels never seen in the UK before.
Increased calls to rehab centre helplines
UKAT which runs private drug and alcohol rehab centres in the UK, has seen a vast increase in calls to their 24-hour online chat tool. They have been inundated with cries for help from those with addiction problems who have experienced difficulties at home during lockdown. This includes those already receiving help for addiction and those who realised they needed help during lockdown.
There is concern about the damaging effect the Covid-19 response could have on a person’s ongoing rehabilitation treatment, and how being in lockdown may have made the situation worse. The fear is that their recovery is going off track, or that they could relapse altogether.
This can also be a particularly precarious time for those living with domestic violence or physical abuse, alongside an everyday battle with dependency. They may feel as if there is no assistance available, and they must deal with this crisis on their own.
Help is still available
If you are one of the millions of people in the UK combatting drug and alcohol addiction, there are various measures to provide you with the support you need to get the treatment you require and continue on your road to recovery.
For instance, you may feel disconnected, or cut off from the rest of the world, which can be a frightening, lonely experience. It is important to try to establish or maintain communication with friends, family, or colleagues while in recovery. This can help to stay strong and feel supported. You can keep in touch via Skype or Zoom, or other video-calling platforms.
Various support services and groups, which may no longer be available in person, can still be accessed online, or via video platforms. Some drug and alcohol rehabs have adapted well to the current situation, allowing you to carry on with rehabilitation treatment at home. This includes speaking with a counsellor or an advisor online.
Many people may have suffered from psychological, as well as physical, issues during quarantine. You may feel anxious or depressed, but do not underestimate the importance of talking about your problems. It can be hard for some people to open up and speak about their experiences.
You should never feel pressured to talk until you are ready, but if you do feel able to discuss your issues with addiction it can have an invaluable effect on your mental wellbeing. This can help you to address any current or long-standing difficulties which could be adding to your dependency and may bring on relapse.
Through a strong support network, you could learn to control your emotions, and come to terms with your fears and anxieties, preventing any triggers contributing to your dependency.
Day to day life may have changed, but there are still support networks in place to assist with recovery.
Help others who may need help for addiction
If someone you know has been fighting dependency in lockdown, it is important to make sure they are still looking after their physical and mental health in this period. A call or text can check how someone is getting along. Helping others is one of the best ways to feel useful whether you are suffering from addiction yourself or not.
Ensuring they are eating right, getting the proper exercise, and taking their prescribed medication if necessary is always important.
Health experts also suggest you should watch out for any triggers, which may cause people in recovery to start drinking or taking drugs again. These range from health worries and concerns about their job and money problems, to finding it hard coping with the coronavirus crisis.
We’re all in this together.
There are measures we can take to help ourselves and those close to us struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. As well as looking after the wider population we can get through this crisis.
The most important thing to remember, to keep ourselves and those around us safe in these times, is to maintain social distancing and hand hygiene. These are essential precautions for preventing the spread of the virus.
By looking out for each other, we can prevent resurgence of this pandemic. Also, if you are living with addiction, there are still resources available to help you carry on with rehab. Do not feel you must keep fighting alone to conquer your dependency. After all, we are all in this together.