Suspecting a loved one of a drug or alcohol addiction at any time isn’t easy. In fact, it can be downright terrifying. During this unique time in human history, though, it may feel even scarier.
The world has almost completely shut down. Will doctors be available if your loved one needs them? Can your loved one still enter treatment at this time?
Or, maybe you’re wondering if it’s even an issue. Perhaps your city is on lockdown – could your loved one’s addiction just go away?
Here are a few tips on how to handle addiction in a loved one during a pandemic.
Understand the Severity
Using drugs or alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic poses additional risks to users.
If your loved one is sharing drug paraphernalia with other people, their risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus becomes greater. If they’ve developed chronic health conditions as a result of their use – such as asthma, COPD, cardiovascular diseases, HIV, etc. – may be at risk of developing a more serious case of COVID-19 if they do get sick. And, of course, they may have a harder time finding medical attention if they require it, as many hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
It’s important to understand the potential severity of this situation and not sweep it under the rug or hope it will simply go away. At the same time, it’s important to remain calm. This is easier said than done, we know, but panicking can only make the situation worse.
Have A Conversation
It doesn’t matter what major world event is going on when you discover your loved one’s addiction, the most important part remains the same: sit your loved one down and talk to them about it.
This is a very delicate conversation, so do your best to make sure your loved one knows you aren’t trying to attack him or her. Avoid blaming or judging, and be sure to make it clear that you care about him or her. If your loved one needs to walk away from the conversation, let them. You can’t force anyone into treatment.
Read more tips for having this conversation here.
Look into Your Options
The good news is that many residential treatment centers and other inpatient recovery facilities are still operating as usual throughout this pandemic. Outpatient treatment options may be available online.
While you may need to do more research now than you would have, say, a year ago, there are still plenty of options available for addictions treatment. Even during a global crisis, there is hope for your loved one to overcome his or her addiction and achieve lifelong recovery.