COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down, in one way or another. This unprecedented global pandemic has led to job losses, to undetected health problems, to bereavement, and to a new normal of social distancing and strict hand hygiene.
While we’re all in the same boat, down to lockdowns, unfortunately, many individuals are slipping through the gaps when considering health. This includes individuals who’ve developed the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction and recovering alcoholics.
Newly emerged substance abusers and recovering alcoholics are to this day struggling to access care and addiction treatment they require. This is down to the limited resources to hand, following lockdown guidelines, and the necessity of transferring healthcare services, elsewhere.
Yet, through this, more and more individuals are experiencing aggravated addictions, and are also at risk of alcohol relapse. In tandem with this, we’re also seeing many individuals denying professional support and hiding their alcohol problems away, down to the restrictions and concerns of the recent lockdowns.
Lockdowns in relation to COVID-19 are hard on us all. We’ve had to learn how to adapt, whether that’s working from home or communicating with loved ones through Zoom. But for recovering alcoholics, this adaptation can pose as life-threatening, denying necessary care required to preserve their recovery efforts.
If you’re wondering, ‘what effects have COVID-19 lockdowns had on recovery alcoholics?’, here’s exactly how the pandemic has negatively impacted those struggling and those recovering from alcohol addiction.
If you are struggling personally, at Addiction Advocates, we are still offering our services throughout COVID-19, helping many clients source and secure rehabilitation programmes they deserve.
Lockdown and alcohol consumption
Experiencing any form of lockdown, whether that’s a national stay at home message, or tiered restrictions, the pandemic has caused an unprecedented reality. Through this new reality, we’ve seen some individuals thrive, where they’ve had the time and energy to invest in themselves, loved ones and their health.
Yet, unfortunately, lockdowns have also hit others hard, on those suffering from mental health issues, from pre-existing addiction diagnosis, and on those whose lives have adapted for the worst.
Through this change, we’ve seen a high correlation between lockdowns and alcohol consumption, where alcohol has basically been seen as an essential shopping item. Drinking habits have changed down to reduced working hours. Alcohol consumption has increased to act as a coping strategy and as an escape from the reality caused by COVID-19.
Yet, through this correlation, more individuals are falling victim of alcoholism, where professional intervention is in fact necessary. However, down to the higher rate of addiction diagnosis, that professional support is becoming sparse, making it difficult to revert new unhealthy habits.
To see how this correlation has impacted newly emerged and recovering alcoholics, continue reading as we cover ‘what effects have COVID-19 lockdowns had on recovering alcoholics?’.
What effects have COVID-19 lockdowns had on recovering alcoholics?
New addiction diagnosis
Down to the high correlation between alcohol consumption and lockdown effects, we’ve witnessed a definite rise in addictive behaviours. While addiction diagnoses have materialised through the lockdowns, unfortunately, the closure of most services across communities and local areas have reduced the desirability of relying on professional support.
Some individuals will believe that addiction support is unavailable. Others will be worried about the risk of contracting COVID-19 by attending treatment services. Down to the mass scaremongering of the media, and strong messages to stay at home, more and more individuals are unknowingly enabling their alcohol consumption; in turn, the development of their addiction diagnosis.
Relapse for recovering alcoholics
For those already recovering from alcoholism, lockdowns have also caused negative impacts, in the form of delays. Recovering alcoholics, prior to COVID-19 will have experienced ongoing support, resources and treatment services to sustain sobriety. Yet, down to lockdowns and self-isolation regulations, those resources have become sparse.
It’s also important to note that physical support is very important for recovering alcoholics, again posing as impossible through the climate of COVID-19. Support groups are commonly used to boost accountability. Attending weekly sessions provide physical motivation to maintain the recovering alcoholic status. Sessions in fact provide structure and sobriety support, necessary to avoid relapse.
However, to answer ‘what effects have COVID-19 lockdowns had on recovering alcoholics?’, they have in fact increased relapse risks, as that necessary support and accountability have come to a halt. It is important to remember that overcoming an addiction is possible through a short yet intense period of rehab.
Although, recovery is for the long-term, where a routine must be maintained. Lockdowns have disrupted the routines of recovering alcoholics, stopping them from accessing the care and addiction treatment they deserve and have the right to access.
At Addiction Advocates, we must add that relapse risks are always present for recovering alcoholics. Their new lifestyle can be challenging to maintain, away from exposure to alcohol.
However, with the shakeup and restrictions of national lockdowns, those relapse risks are even stronger, posing a threat to existing recovery efforts. With this in mind, unfortunately, someone you know may be suffering through the pandemic, hoping to avoid relapse.
Yet, down to the lack of support and focus placed on ongoing rehabilitation services, many recovering alcoholics are slipping through the gaps.
Sobriety support, throughout COVID-19
If you believe that someone you know is suffering from a newly emerged addiction, or is posing a risk of relapse, it is important to offer support, especially through the new norm of COVID-19. Support and a sense of normal can offer significant reassurance and motives to source professional service throughout our impending lockdowns.
It’s also important to remember that addiction treatment services are still available. Rehab clinics which we work with are still open, are still here to offer initial addiction treatment, and are still here to offer support to recovering alcoholics.
While there are personal steps recommended to recovering alcoholics, in place to maintain sober living, professional support and resources, on in-person and virtual levels are available. If you’re struggling, help yourself by using the time of lockdown to recover. Yet, avoid this on an independent scale, by contacting our team today.
COVID-19 will continue to change our lives. Whether further lockdowns are on their way, or not, it’s vital that we continue to support those in need. Detriment is attached to COVID-19. Yet, this detriment is also causing life-threatening situations for recovering alcoholics.
It’s time to offer support across the board, throughout and beyond the pandemic.