How to Get Sober During Quarantine

How to Get Sober During Quarantine

It may seem like a cruel hoax that right about the time you decide to get sober, the Coronavirus scare hits and treatment facilities are forced to limit activities under quarantine laws. 

You’re being forced to stay in your home. Your home may be your main trigger place. All through your house you have hiding spots where you store substances. You have memories associated with every room, from the basement to the attic.

What are you supposed to do now? Keep using until the quarantine is over? That would mean risking leaving your home to obtain drugs or alcohol.

Should you quit using cold turkey? That could mean dealing with serious withdrawal symptoms, alone. Depending on your level of use, this could be dangerous.

It is natural to feel confused and anxious during the quarantine. You are not alone. We don’t know what to expect or how long this quarantine will last. It’s important you keep reminding yourself that there are people who can help you even though you may not be able to meet with them in person.

Just like we have all had to adapt to a new way of living during the quarantine, we must adapt to a new way of getting sober also.

There are specific steps you can take to get sober, even during the quarantine, and some of them are listed below. But first, let’s discuss what quarantine means for someone wanting to get sober.

Quarantine for Addicts

Recent reports claim there was a big surge in drug and alcohol use when the COVID19 quarantine first hit. During the countdown leading up to the start of the quarantine, there were surges in alcohol sales. I’m guessing drug deals increased also.

Surges like this happen due to fear of being without. Just look at the toilet paper situation that swept the nation. Americans number one fear seemed to be not being able to maintain their normal bathroom habits.

This fear is common for addicts too, which may be one reason you have decided now is the best time to get sober. You are right. There is no better time than now.

How you get sober may need to be a little different than the route available before the quarantine.

Alternative to Quitting Cold Turkey

Because quitting drugs or alcohol cold turkey can lead to seizures and hallucinations for those who have been heavy users for a long time, it may be best to look at starting with a harm reduction method.

Harm reduction is the concept of reducing the drugs or alcohol you consume over a set schedule, until eventually you are not using any substances.

This too should not be alone but can easily be done with the help of a drug and alcohol treatment facility who is operating through virtual methods.

Together, you and your virtual addictions counselor can establish a plan for you to follow strictly. Depending on your use, each day or week will come with a reduction in the amount you use. Typically, the amount you consume will be determined by withdrawal symptoms.

The goal is to drink or use only the amount that keeps the severe withdrawal symptoms at bay. A base can be determined by measuring how many hours you can go before you start to feel the affects of withdrawal, with the amount you consume to make the symptoms go away.

For some, they may be prescribed 8 oz of alcohol every hour the first few days, 8 oz every two hours for a few days, then every four hours, etc.

During this tapering off time frame, it is essential you have someone with you or that is near you to offer support when your virtual therapist cannot.

Virtual Rehab

If you are going to get sober during quarantine, you need multiple avenues of education and support. Fortunately, there are numerous treatment facilities offering virtual support in various forms, from individual counseling to group therapy.

Keep in mind when doing your research, that virtual therapy with legitimate treatment facilities will not take place on social media outlets like snap chat or Facebook. Instead, they will use HIPAA compliant virtual healthcare resources that protect your privacy.

Online support groups, like AA and NA, are easily found in Google searches and are highly recommended.

Several times a day, every day during quarantine, you need to attend virtual meetings of some kind.

Change What You Can

Your lifestyle has reflected your addiction. Now it needs to reflect your efforts to get sober. If you avoided cleaning before, start cleaning. If you didn’t keep healthy foods in the kitchen, start stocking up on fruits and vegetables. You need these to get healthy.

If other people in your home are still drinking or using drugs, you need to find a way to quarantine without them. This may mean one of you must move. If you have “buddies” that stop by with drugs or alcohol, tell them to stop. It’s against the quarantine rules anyway. Use that as an excuse.

Take inventory of all the things around you that keep you in your addiction and change them.

When All Else Fails

It may be that you have given everything your best effort. You have attended virtual therapies and groups for weeks. You have tried harm reduction. You’ve even changed your home environment to make it more conducive to getting sober. Yet, you are not sober.

This is a time when you need medical intervention. Treatment facilities are hospitals and are considered 100% essential. They have remained open during quarantine to help those in need.

Ask your virtual therapist for a referral or for advice on which detox facility is best for you, in your area. 

Inpatient detox can help you rid the toxins of alcohol and drugs from your body while also treating negative withdrawal symptoms. Upon your return home, you can have an easier time staying sober because you have already made the positive changes necessary. Plus, you can restart your virtual therapy sessions again, giving you added support to stay sober during the quarantine.

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