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Now’s the Time to Go to Rehab

Seven reasons why now is a good time to receive residential addiction treatment.

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Recovery is possible.
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When’s the right time to get treatment for addiction? The truth is, anytime you need help is a good time to go to rehab.

Right now, with stay-at-home orders across the nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a great time to get help in a residential addiction treatment program. Here are seven reasons why.

Community resources are limited. Community support programs, like 12-step groups, have gone online or temporarily closed. Many groups have been forced to use passwords to protect their virtual meetings because of meeting disruptions. This has made online meetings more difficult for new participants to access.

If you get a password for a virtual meeting, for those new to recovery, it can be easy to hide out in online meetings. Regular group members won’t necessarily reach out to someone who doesn’t turn on their camera or speak up about being new, the way they would in a face-to-face setting. It also can be hard if not impossible to find someone to come to your house to help you get rid of your stash, etc. The full support of community recovery groups isn’t available at present.

Overdose cases may not get support. Emergency medical services (EMS) are stretched to the limit in many areas. If someone overdoses, it is possible that EMS will not arrive in time to successfully deliver naloxone, the overdose reversal drug. Even if paramedics can get someone to the ER, there is no guarantee that ER doctors can attend to the person immediately. There’s also a significant possibility of being exposed to COVID-19 in the emergency room. We cannot depend on emergency services in areas hard hit by COVID-19 to support addiction emergencies at this time.

Relapse is happening. Around the nation, there are reports of increases in relapse rates among individuals who had been clean and sober. The stress of the pandemic, losing work, inability to get the support needed to maintain recovery, social isolation—these are all contributing factors to relapse. Although there are no studies at present about relapse rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, anecdotal reports suggest that there is reason for concern that those who relapse are not getting the support they normally would.

Intensive outpatient programs are limiting services in some areas. Although mental health treatment is an essential community service, outpatient programs in some areas are limiting services by cutting ancillary programs that rely on outsourced providers. This is being done to limit COVID-19 exposure.

Residential programs may have space. Because of fear about disease transmission, some residential treatment programs that often have waiting lists may now have space available. Treatment facilities are going to great lengths to screen new residents and maintain healthy environments for clients and staff. You can take advantage of these openings.

Teleservices are expanding. In order to limit the possibility of spreading COVID-19, treatment facilities are frequently using expanded teleservices. Such services allow clients to stay in the treatment center but still get much of the variety of quality services they have come to expect. Music, meditation, and breathwork are just a few of the programs that are being administered virtually and having a positive effect.

There’s no shame in seeking help. Whether you have been clean in the past and relapsed or are seeking addiction treatment for the first time, there are people waiting to help you. Addiction treatment is a critical mental health activity. You or your loved one deserves support and an opportunity to recover.