Rise in Drug and Alcohol Relapses

Social distancing and isolation is a serious challenge for those recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. Experts warn that the pandemic may result in an unintended rise in drug and alcohol relapses among those who are in recovery. A 2006 study by University of South Carolina researchers found that Hurricane Katrina survivors smoked cigarettes, consumed alcohol and experienced substance consumption-related problems at substantially higher rates in the aftermath of the disaster. "People are dealing with trauma and stress," Dr. Adam Leventhal, the founding director of the Health, Emotion, & Addiction Laboratory at the University of Southern California, told Business Insider, "and we know that other stressors and traumatic incidents — other types of disasters — have led people to increase their substance use."

Confirmed Locations

Syria, Bangladesh, Kenya

HOW IS THIS ISSUE GROWING BECAUSE OF COVID-19?

As said by Hulkow, “Social support and active involvement in the program both play a huge role in recovery,” In the absence of these, isolation and emotional distress can be significant triggers to relapse. Feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, loneliness and boredom can easily escalate particularly during this time of self-quarantines and pandemic influenced isolation. This time also presents the risk of such substance abuses resulting in overdose, which is interconnected to the suicide rate and mental health implications.

WHO ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS?

Recovering alcohol and drug addicts

GROUPS WORKING ON THIS ISSUE

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA); American Addiction Center; Delphi Behavioral Health Group; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; National Institute on Drug Abuse; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, which operates a free 24/7 hotline offering information and treatment referrals for those struggling with drugs and alcohol

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