The pandemic and multiple lockdowns have been tough for most people – but imagine trying to battle addiction and stick at recovery during the same time as all the madness. Experts have explained that isolation and boredom are amongst the worst triggers for people who are recovering from using, so lockdown for them is a very difficult test.
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Has the Pandemic Caused Relapse Rates to Increase?
The pandemic has caused relapse rates to skyrocket. By September 2020, Public Health England released that indirect effects of the virus found that upwards of 8.4 million people in the UK are now drinking at a much higher risk. This is compared to just 4.8 million in February 2020, before the national lockdown. Alcohol rehab services are going to struggle after years of cuts in a post-pandemic surge.
Why is the Pandemic Causing People to Relapse?
Relapses during the pandemic can be brought on by circumstances unrelated, but the surge in numbers point to being due to indirect effects of coronavirus.
With the lockdowns, many are feeling lonely, anxious, and bored. Social interaction and support, paired with active involvement in a treatment programmed, is the key to success in recovery. With the absence of these, and the addition of isolation, emotional distress, and other significant triggers, the worst outcomes are almost to be expected. This is true especially for those in the early stages of alcohol rehab recovery.
What are the Signs of Relapse?
Relapses are common through an addiction recovery process, with it being estimated that 40-60% relapse before becoming sober. Some people in recovery may be isolating with family – so the household should look out for signs of relapse in their loved one. The signs include the following:
- Bad eating and sleeping routines
- Worsening hygiene
- Reconnecting with old friends who still use substances
- Masking emotions
- Not attending their virtual meetings
What Should I do If my Partner is relapsing During the Pandemic?
If you think that your partner or loved one has relapsed, then you will need to provide them with empathy and love. They need encouragement from you to take the right steps going forward. Seeking further treatment and professional help is the best option, rehabilitation centers remain open.
You must reach out to them and remind them you are there for support. Create opportunities for communication that is open and honest, and make sure you are truly listening to what they are saying. You will, however, have to be firm and hold them accountable for the relapse, but help them to be optimistic and encouraged.