Florida’s number of overdose calls have recently spiked up, compared to the calls recorded from February through May last year. According to Tampa Bay Times, Pasco County along with Jacksonville had roughly a 20% increase. City officials are concerned that this spike might be connected to COVID-19 which could mean that people struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) are using more substances to cope with the pandemic.
Some of those overdoses were deadly and the drugs found in these individuals were Fentanyl and Norfentanyl. These two drugs are typically laced with other drugs. Officials say it is too soon to know if the overdose increase is happening due to social distancing restrictions, the closing of some doctor’s offices, or something else. For now, they are closely monitoring the situation to see if this trend will continue. In the meantime, addiction treatment professionals and recovery advocates are asking if you know someone who is experiencing SUD or recovering from an SUD, now may be a good time to reach out to those individuals to check how they are doing and to remind them that they are loved. You can also encourage your loved one to use effective coping strategies that reduce the impact of stress and fear, and alleviate anxiety, depression, and other difficult emotions.
For those in recovery from an SUD, social support is crucial specially now that social isolation could be a risk factor for relapse. Even though the physical distancing measures being implemented nationwide are important for reducing disease transmission, they may be especially difficult for people in recovery because they limit access to meetings of peer-support groups and other sources of social connection. Although face-to-face interaction is a key feature of recovery support, virtual meetings may be useful for those with access to the Internet. It is worth reminding your loved one that there is still support out there and for those who are struggling, there are treatment centers open and accepting admissions.
Here are some suggestions and resources:
- Stay as safe as possible from contracting COVID-19 by following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidance.
- Call your doctor if you experience symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals with a SUD may be at higher risk for serious effects.
- If you are in treatment for substance use, maintain contact with your provider. Learn how the necessary COVID-19 distancing policies impact your treatment to ensure you continue with care.
- It is normal to experience stress during this difficult time, but stress can also increase substance use. Effective coping strategies and virtual recovery meetings (link is external) can reduce the impact of stress and fear, and alleviate anxiety, depression, and other difficult emotions.
Struggling with substance use disorder? Need addiction treatment? Please call Florida Center for Recovery at 844-989-4036 to explore addiction treatment options. Our all-inclusive inpatient detox and rehab are affordable providing clients treatment programs with variable lengths of stay, which allows each client to anchor recovery behaviors needed for lasting change.
Florida Center for Recovery is accredited and certified by The Joint Commission, which sets the standard for delivery of safe and effective care of the highest quality and value for our clients.
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Providing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Since 2002
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.