Drug Rehab During COVID-19
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 68,000 people died from a drug-related overdose in 2018. That number is not tracked every year but was expected to rise in 2019 and beyond. On top of that number, millions of other Americans are negatively impacted by drug addiction and/or alcoholism.
Drug addiction is a much bigger pandemic in the United States than the Coronavirus and drug rehab centers cannot stop treating those who are struggling and want to get help. You may be worried about going into a drug rehab setting with a virus outbreak happening all around you. You may fear that every little sneeze or sniffle you hear may put you one step closer to contracting the virus.
The truth is, if you are suffering from drug addiction, you can’t afford to not seek treatment. One thing that will kill you quicker than the Coronavirus is an overdose. The latest reports state COVID-19 has an 80% or higher survival rate. Drug addiction, if left untreated and allowed to progress, will kill you almost 100% of the time. Drug addiction and alcoholism are insidious diseases that generally lead to jails, institutions, and death.
If you are ready to seek addiction treatment, please DO NOT WAIT! There are many safe options available for drug treatment during COVID-19.
Considerations for Any Drug Rehab During COVID-19
Screening Before Admission
Drug rehabs have safety protocols, like screening for the Coronavirus. This means each person who seeks treatment receives initial testing from making sure they do not have the Coronavirus. This also means they will not be spreading the virus to other residents.
Drug rehabs and all hospital settings abide by the Center for Disease Control guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing facilities. This means wiping down surfaces often, especially on items that are used by multiple people—telephones, toiletries, remotes, tabletops, doorknobs, and more.
You can also participate by keeping your areas cleaned. Drug rehabs will provide you and all other residents with sanitizing agents.
Yes, social distancing can happen even in drug rehabilitation environments. Group meetings become smaller and require members to sit further apart. Individual counseling takes precedence over group therapy. And on smoke breaks, there may be rules that prevent too many people from breaking at once.
You can help the staff of the drug rehab by keeping a safe distance from staff and residents.
Drug rehabs can provide patients with education on how to avoid contracting the Coronavirus while in treatment. Simple tips can be learned, such as (but not limited to):
- Wearing a mask when in social gatherings
- Washing your hands often
- Using sanitizer
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Avoiding touching your face with your hands
Education about your addiction and how to maintain recovery will also be given and is even more critical than COVID-19 tips. Your addiction right now is more threatening to your life.
Medical Staff Available
The medical staff working at a drug rehab have adapted how they treat addiction-related issues, as well as the Coronavirus. This makes drug rehab one of the safest places to be because if you are ill, for any reason, you have immediate access to doctors, nurses, technicians, and more.
Because drug rehabs are considered hospitals, the medical staff know how to quarantine anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 from the rest of the population. They have specific rooms that help them separate residents based on different illnesses.
Virtual Drug Treatment and Meetings
Drug rehabs, along with therapists and psychiatrists, are equipped with technology that makes it possible to have virtual appointments and meetings. You do not go without treatment or contact with staff.
You can talk with your psychiatrist about your medicines, you can inform nurses if you are having negative symptoms, and you can speak with your therapist to set goals, discuss triggers, and make plans for relapse prevention.
Virtual meetings can continue even after you are discharged from drug rehab. Many drug rehab facilities are offering virtual drug treatment option to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Transitions for Treatments
Drug rehabs strictly follow the rules set forth by their state and federal governments. When called for, drug rehabs will transition staff who do not work directly with patients to work from home. They will stop unnecessary visits, like family visits, to the treatment center. However, virtual tours will be possible. You may also have virtual meetings with your counselors, who may be required to work from home on some days.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, now may be the best time to go to drug rehab. It is a much safer place than being on the streets searching for a drug. Drug rehabs make detoxing manageable. The medical staff treats any negative symptoms you have. If you are stuck at home during the pandemic and are detoxing alone, you could be putting yourself in danger.
You are more likely to take risks that can send you to jail, or harm yourself or someone else, to avoid withdrawal symptoms. You may drive high or drunk, and you may share a needle, you may leave your home and get in legal trouble for disobeying lockdown orders. Rather than being afraid of going into a drug rehab during COVID-19, be more fearful of not going in for treatment. If you remain in the vicious cycle of maintaining your addiction, the outcome can be far worse.
Reach out to a drug rehab today to learn more about why entering treatment is the right step, even while a pandemic is happening. If you considering drug treatment but worried about the current COVID-19 pandemic, please browse our list of drug rehabs and treat centers, all of whom are offering virtual drug treatment.