We can all agree that the year 2020 has been a rollercoaster no matter which corner of the world you’re from. It has significantly changed every aspect our lives, from going out with friends on a Saturday night, to simply going to the office for work. In more ways than one, we have all experienced some form of stress due to the pandemic, and stress can have an impact on our mental health. However, help is still out there for those who are dealing with mental illnesses, such as substance abuse disorder.

The First Step

According to the CDC, over 13% of adults over the age of 18 have “started or increased substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19” since late June 2020. When you do the math, that’s over 4 million Americans. For those of you out there struggling, please know that you’re not alone.

When it comes to asking for any kind of help, for most of us, the first step is always the hardest. There are so many things to consider about addiction treatment. Will my health insurance cover part of or maybe all the cost? What program should I pick? Which option is best for me: inpatient or outpatient? All the questions that are going through your mind right now can seem daunting, but doing some research on these topics can help you not only answer these questions, but will also help you in deciding which path to recovery is right for you.

Available Resources

Even though we are amid a global crisis, many medical facilities are still open, both inpatient and outpatient. Just be aware that they may have new guidelines to keep people safe during the pandemic. For example, the majority of medical offices and facilities now require clients and staff to wear face masks and practice social distancing.

If one good thing has come from the pandemic, it’s telehealth. Since many medical offices were closed at some point this year, doctors had to find a way to keep treating their patients virtually. The telemedicine industry has allowed patients to continue meeting with their doctors and receiving treatment during the coronavirus pandemic, even while on lockdown. You can even find online meetings to help as well as support groups.

Additionally, there are apps that you can download onto your phone that are designed to help people on their journey to sobriety. A blog post on the American Addiction Center website has a link to a list of several applications to help people stay sober as well as more information on getting help during the pandemic.

For the last six months, RehabAid’s research team has been working to develop the most useful and accurate online state-by-state map of drug overdoses available. The mission of the organization is to bring attention to the severity of the nation’s drug problems.

The Future of Telehealth

Now that we’ve started using such innovative technology, will it stick around after the coronavirus is long gone? The short answer is yes. In fact, the demand for telehealth services has increased around the world, not just in the United States. Also, many states are changing their laws to improve access to telemedicine. In conclusion, telehealth is here to stay and can be a stepping-stone in your journey to recovery.

Prepared by Katlyn Miller for medez.com

Edited by Marina Malobabic