Experts Predict Isolation Caused by COVID-19 Will Cause Addiction Relapses

    Addiction treatment experts tell The Daily Mail they are concerned the COVID-19 pandemic will lead many people in recovery to relapse.

    “The rises in anxiety and [depression] being anticipated are also accompanied by an expected increase in substance misuse as people cope with loneliness, isolation and potential unemployment,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said.

    Dr. Fred Muench, President of Center on Addiction, said the pandemic poses particular problems for people in early recovery. “It might be easy for some to say, ‘I am just going to use to get through this time period. I don’t have deep connections to others in recovery or who are positive influences in my life in other ways. I don’t have someone looking over my shoulder. Just this once will be okay.’ Then they are off to the races and fall back into using and old patterns. As external reinforcers, particularly social reinforcers, evaporate, so does recovery. We need more support for those in early recovery to help ensure they stay on track.”

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    April 2020