When a Pandemic and Epidemic collid: COVID-19 and the Opioid Crisis

More than 20 million in the United States struggled with substance use disorder, many of which are addicted to opioids like oxycontin, heroin, and other pain pills and street drugs.. And now with COVID-19 leaving people locked down, laid off and uncertain experts are seeing signs of relapse, overdose, and other worries. 

Dave Quisenberry was determined to stay away from opioids which robbed him of so much in his life. When the pandemic hit, his building services job was put on hold for many weeks. The 48-year-old West Virginian needed to make sure his loneliness didn’t catch up with him.

“Being alone five days in a row can get to you, can make you anxious and depressed,” he says. “Back when I was using, I would just take care of that.” Quisenberry became addicted after shoulder surgery – now, he says the possibility of relapse is always on his mind. He keeps his family in mind when thinking about relapse, “I don’t ever want to lose their trust again.” a strong motivator for people with addiction. 

To learn about relapse prevention see our relapse prevention post here for examples, templates, and more. 

Quisenberry was so glad to have been called back to work. “I know a lot of people in my support groups who have lost their jobs, which is completely miserable,” he says. “It’s a really bad deal right now for a lot of people who are trying to avoid drugs.”

Across the country, as the pandemic collided with the epidemic, experts worried about the vast number of people suffering from this impact collision. Everything that the pandemic brings with it is what threatens people’s path on recovery, anxiety, grief, financial instability, uncertainty, life changes, and more. 

See the original article here.

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