Managing Substance Use and Addiction during Covid-19
FROM CARRIE KUBACKI, HEALTH & WELLNESS EDUCATOR, UW-MADISON EXTENSION
By now, most of us have experienced the mental and emotional effects of COVID-19 on our daily lives. Whether the cause is fear and anxiety, loss of jobs and normal routines or social isolation, many individuals and families may be struggling to cope with the challenges of life. It is in these times that people may turn to alcohol and other drugs to numb their feelings or escape from reality. Using substances for these reasons, however, can create even more problems, including an increased risk of overdose, addiction, financial insecurity and mental instability. As well, people in recovery may be having even more difficulty finding regular support and avoiding relapse due to safer at home orders and agency closings.
Staying connected to family and friends, maintaining regular self-care routines and contacting helplines can assist all individuals in managing their emotions. However, for those who occasionally use alcohol or other drugs or for those already addicted or in recovery, it is especially important to know what other resources are available to help during these difficult times. Below is a list resources for substance use, addiction and recovery:
- Al-Anon and Alateen: https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/
- Alcoholics Anonymous: http://aa-intergroup.org/
- In The Rooms—Online Recovery Meetings: https://www.intherooms.com/home/
- Narcotics Anonymous: https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/
- National Drug Helpline: 1-844-289-0879 or http://drughelpline.org/
- SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP or https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
- In the Antigo/Langlade County area, local virtual meetings are being held on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays: For more information, call Ben at 715-216-3941.