The Coronavirus outbreak has been a true test of everyone’s mental, physical, financial and other health. The extent of it is yet unknown. There’s a lot of fear and panic circulating.Just as those over 60, and those immunocompromised are considered at high risk, I would argue that people in recovery are at high risk as well because they also have a chronic illness. But unlike other chronic illness, addiction and recovery is vulnerable to factors such as social isolation, fear, panic, anxiety, etc.
This is a time to be extraordinarily vigilant with your personal recovery program. As always, your recovery comes first. And remember social distancing does not have to mean social isolation.
Recovery Related Strategies
1. Adapt: If you attend regular meetings there is a good chance the face-to-face ones are canceled. All recovery programs have phone meetings. Check their websites. Many groups have set up their own virtual meetings using platforms in which you can still see the familiar faces you are used to seeing in person.
2. Phone: Make phone calls! Check-in with someone that you haven’t spoken with in a while, call your fellows if you are in a 12 step recovery program. Hearing a friend’s voice can be more comforting that texting but by all means text if that works better for you. And if your friend is causing you more anxiety then politely excuse yourself from the call.
3. Telemedicine: So many strides have been made in this area. If you are not feeling well, your doctor may be offering this service at least as a first step.
4. Self-Care: Eat healthily, exercise, get lots of fresh air, meditate, write, draw, paint, read, or snuggle with your pet or your partner.
5. Medication: Continue your Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and all other medications.
6. Avoid Triggers: Avoid people, places and things that are triggers for you, even more than ever. Consider volunteering your time to pick up groceries or medications for someone that cannot.
7. Stay Positive: Remember that our current situation is temporary and out of our control.
8. Stay Safe: Follow CDC and local recommendations regarding hygiene and restrictions in place.
If you would like more information or to speak with a Care Advocate about your recovery, call us now or request a callback using the button below.
Deborah Reich, M.D.