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COVID-19 and Addiction: Getting Back on Track after the Pandemic

A woman dealing with addiction stares at a glass of wine during COVID-19.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the isolation can lead those with additions to relapse.

Experiencing an addiction is a struggle, even when you’re in recovery. It can be even more difficult during a crisis like COVID-19. These times can make each of us feel isolated and lost, making it difficult to ask for help. According to the American Medical Association, drug-related overdoses are on the rise across the nation. Alcohol sales also saw a significant increase and in larger packs.

Social distancing and sheltering in place haven’t made any of this easier. The isolation can make it hard to connect with others. This can mean being cut off from your support system — such as 12-step meetings which stopped meeting in person in favor of online meetings — making your cravings even more difficult to ignore. Unfortunately, studies have shown that those with substance abuse disorders are more likely to contract COVID-19 and suffer from a greater psychological burden.

When life feels unstable, it’s easy to turn back to old addictions for comfort and familiarity. But if you do get off track during the pandemic, there is still hope.

Getting Back to Sobriety after an Addiction Relapse

It isn’t easy to admit that you need help again, but it’s the first step to getting back on track. Thankfully, federal agencies were able to implement policies last year to assist those with substance abuse disorders. The CDC released a variety of resources to help community organizations that support those struggling with addiction and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) issued guidance keep beds for treatment open as well as create flexibilities in insurance coverage. And while you may not be able to meet in person, Alcoholics Anonymous is offering AA meetings online for those who seeking a connection to others.

Thanks to all these available opportunities, the only other thing you need to get back to sobriety after an addiction relapse is inner strength and outward effort. If you’ve experienced a relapse, you don’t necessarily need to start over again — you’ve already made progress toward your recovery. There are a few things you can do to get on the right path again without ruining your sobriety.

  • Recognize your mistakes and learn from them. Your behavior was likely a simple mistake, but you can use that experience to figure out what led you to that decision. Reflect on the choices you made and find ways to eliminate those triggers from your life.
  • Get back into treatment. If you find it difficult to stay sober after a relapse, consider going back into outpatient treatment or therapy. This can help you recommit to your recovery and rediscover the tools you need to maintain sobriety.
  • Attend a meeting. Meetings with others on the journey to recovery is a great way to help you get back on track, especially after leaving treatment. Even though many meetings are online now, you can build relationships, recommit to recovery and create a much-needed support system.
  • Eliminate triggers from your life. The best way to get back to recovery after an addiction relapse is to eliminate every trigger you can that could potentially compromise your sobriety again in the future. That can mean removing specific activities or even people from your life and learning to manage your emotions in healthier ways. While never easy, avoiding triggers can ensure you’re not enticed again in the future.
  • Occupy your time with some new hobbies. After treatment, you’ll likely find yourself with a lot of extra time on your hands. You may feel the compulsion to return to old habits if you spend too much time alone with your thoughts. Instead, look for new hobbies like cooking, art or even volunteering to engage your mind and make you feel good about your decisions.

Experience Compassionate Outpatient Treatment at The Raleigh House

Finding recovery for an addiction after a relapse can be disheartening and isolating. But you don’t have to go through it alone. The Raleigh House is here to offer a safe place for you transition back into sobriety and a healthy life.

Our outpatient treatment programs provide a way for you to return back to normal life while still receiving the healing you need. Each level of treatment — whether you require housing, day treatment without housing or evening therapy — offers a comprehensive approach to recovery that unifies science, innovation and spirit. Through evidence-based treatments and experiential therapies, you’ll have access to a variety of proven technics to help you get back on the right track.

If it’s time to seek addiction treatment again, you’ll find no judgement at The Raleigh House — only supportive care. Reach out to our admission team today to direct your life back onto the right path.

Call Now: 720-891-4657

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