Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a chronic relapsing medical condition1 and requires ongoing treatment just like heart disease and diabetes. A complex brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use in addition to its harmful consequence SUD often present other medical conditions, known as comorbidities.
In 2018, more than 20 million people ages 12 and older had a SUD involving illicit or prescription drugs or alcohol. Today, drug overdose deaths continue to impact communities in the United States. From 1999 to 2017, more than 702,000 people died from a drug overdose. In 2017 alone, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. These numbers are a real and significant public health concern, especially during these uncertain times when many individuals struggling with addiction, are also experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety due to related Covid-19 shelter in place order.
Amid the new coronavirus pandemic (known as COVID-19), addiction treatment experts believe that many are postponing treatment. As the above statistic shows, extreme caution should be exercised when deciding to postpone drug or alcohol treatment. Individuals struggling with SUDs still need and must be provided with professional care even in the face of this novel coronavirus pandemic. Addiction treatment centers that remain open have put measures in place to protect their patients and their health care providers against Covid-19 as recommended by the health authorities. Many drug rehabs and addiction treatment services, like the Florida Center for Recovery, have taken the initiative to continue offering addiction treatment services by implementing extra precautions to keep their staff and patients safe. They are following recommended guidelines such as disinfecting surfaces, the use of larger rooms to facilitate social distancing, testing patients & staff as recommended, and fully implementing the CDC regulations and recommendations.
As difficult as it may be, addiction treatment should not be deferred because the fact is; addiction and this current pandemic are both dangerous and potentially life-threatening. For those struggling with addiction, immediate treatment is needed, as the battle between life and death is as equally present in case of an overdose as it is with contracting the virus. For those who are concerned about the safety against contracting the virus; there is no evidence that alcohol and drug rehab facilities are more vulnerable to the virus than any other place. In fact, the strict health protocols in place provide individuals struggling with SUD’s a safe environment to get the care, the support and the individualized treatment they need to reestablish their health and start a new life in recovery.
And keep in mind, this storm we are all in right now will pass. All storms do.
Should you have any questions regarding our COVID-19 protocols and addiction treatment, please call our facility at (800) 851-3291. All calls are confidential.
To learn more about our addiction treatment program and therapies visit us at:
Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment
Providing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Since 2002
National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics,” accessed Aug. 28, 2019, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-use-addiction-basics.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results From the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health” (2019).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Understanding the Epidemic,” Dec. 19, 2018, https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html.
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.