06 Oct How do I on my help loved one in crisis During COVID?
COVID 19 is a deadly, viral disease that has affected people in insurmountable and unexpected ways. The disease has spread internationally, affecting more than 180 countries, and has been particularly violent in the United States. The CDC reports that since the onset of the pandemic, there have been over 600,000 deaths in the United States. This drastic increase in fatalities has led to a variety of different struggles for the American people characterized by general feelings of grief, suffering, and fear. Unfortunately, these feelings have contributed to increases in mental health issues affecting both hospitals and rehab centers in the United States.
The feelings of grief and fear onset by COVID 19 have resulted in a major increase in mental health problems affecting hospitals. According to the CDC, during the pandemic, “40% of US adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.” There are many contributing factors to these struggles, including the overwhelming amount of fatalities stemming from the outbreak, feelings of isolation, general job loss and unemployment, and financial hardship. In order to deal with these hardships, people increased their use of mind altering substances, which led to dangerous increases in overdoses and suicide attempts. Hospitals have been seeing drastic increases in mental health and substance use patients.
These issues are not just affecting hospitals; rehab centers are also seeing the effect of these mental health struggles. People are using mind altering substances to fill the void, leading to abuse, addiction, and overdose. In an interview with News Channel 3, Ken Seeley, founder of Ken Seeley Rehab Center, says that “the drugs and the alcohol are filling that void of not having human connection, and then what happens is we cross the line from abuse and we go to addiction”. He reported that 2020 was his busiest year at his rehab center, and that he saw an increase in patients by a rate of more than 30%. The sales of alcohol and marijuana are also up, and according to Seeley, people are using it because it is something to cope with the anxiety, fear of the unknown, and general pain and depression. The coping mechanism of substance use, and resulting abuse and addiction, have generated a great influx of people into rehab.
This time is weighing heavy on people to the point that they need mind altering substances to cope with what has become reality. COVID 19 affects us all, and for some it has been an extremely difficult time. People are facing hardships like isolation, job loss, death, illness, and the general unknown. Many are resorting to the use of mind altering substances in order to cope with the anxiety of the situation. In times like these, it is so crucial to recognize the signs of mental health struggles or substance abuse in order to seek help or to help those close to you and provide an intervention. Someone with depression or substance use issues may become distant, have a lack of energy, or a general distaste for things that once brought them joy. There are ways to deal with depression, and mental health and substance abuse treatment are critical now more than ever. If you are experiencing feelings of isolation, depression, or recognizing a pattern of substance use or abuse, understand that treatment is always available, and could be easier to access than you may think.