As COVID-19 continues to ravage through our country, the strain of isolation, restrictions, and lockdowns are taking a toll on the citizens of our country. Suicide rates and drug overdoses have both raised since COVID–19 has struck our country.
This pandemic has created a boatload of intense new stressors all while removing so many of the resources and coping mechanisms many people use to cope with stress, worry, and/or anxiety. Many Americans have lost their homes, jobs, and businesses and they have also lost their normal ways of dealing with it like going to traditional therapy. Those with substance abuse disorders have also lost their normal ways of coping. Social distancing is endangering everyone’s mental health as it aims to protect everyone’s physical health.
The results of all this look like the perfect storm when it comes to suicide and drug overdoses as we are seeing a rise in both throughout the nation. The first six months of 2020 have been deadlier than any of the past three years. Some people are saying they aren’t surprised. Therapist Chrissy Orellana at the Scottsdale Recovery Center says, “As they’re isolating, their substance abuse is escalating.” It is very difficult to watch the self-destruction occur on so many people and everyone needs to remember who may be struggling right now with mental health and substance abuse that there are still plenty of resources out there that are helpful and available.
Suicides During the Coronavirus Pandemic
During these last months, the media has reported on several painful suicides they believe are linked to the toll COVID has left on them. One example being a Manhattan emergency room physician treating patients on the front line back in April when, so little was still known about this disease. While there is no official number currently on the suicide rates during COVID, the heightened levels of stress and uncertainty in so many Americans’ lives are sure to leave its unfortunate mark.
Fatal drug overdoses have claimed more than half a million people in the last decade alone and the coronavirus seems to be making this threat so much worse. When it comes to overdose deaths, this pandemic has surely hit those with substance abuse disorders rather hard. When we add a pandemic on top of the already serious opioid crisis, we are bound to see an increase in overdose deaths; the routines have been disrupted for those striving for sobriety when they desperately need it.
Isolation from Social Distancing Causes More Drug Overdoses
The idea of social distancing, in general, is the absolute opposite of when needs to be done to remain sober during hard times. Due to the many restrictions in place right now, attending 12 step groups and traditional counseling is not an option now. When these people do not have access to all the resources, they need to remain sober, many people relapse and unfortunately lose their lives.
While those in need of mental health treatment and those who are recovering from addiction may not have access to their normal means of help, it is important to know that other options are available during this difficult time. For those struggling with mental health and suicide, teletherapy is a viable option right now. It allows you to have access to a therapist or counselor without having to meet face to face. The good thing is that it has all the same benefits as traditional therapy. For those struggling with substance abuse disorders during this difficult time, the more 12-step meeting has gone virtual, with the help of Zoom and other platforms. Treatment centers such as Recreate Life Counseling have taken extraordinary measures to ensure patient safety throughout the whole recovery process.