Avoiding social interactions may be a source of sadness and frustration for most people, but for those battling drug abuse, it can jeopardize recovery as dozens of weekly alcoholic anonymous and anesthetic anonymous narcotics meet due to COVID-19 be canceled.
"Drug abuse separates people from everything important in their lives – relationships, jobs, finance, health," said David Dorschu, managing director of the Recovery Centers of America at Lighthouse in Mays Landing. "In treatment, the goal is … to reconnect you to all of these things."
But for people who have completed a treatment program and need support who don't use alcohol or illegal drugs, physical access is One of the main forms of reconnection is unreachable, said Dorschu. This is because churches and other public gathering rooms used by the groups have been closed for the duration of the COVID 19 crisis.
At the same time, people who are active or new to recovery cannot afford to take risks. According to the National Institute on Substance Abuse, they may be physically at higher risk of getting COVID-19.
"Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be a particularly serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape," the organization's website said. "People with opioid use disorder and methamphetamine use disorder may also be susceptible to the effects of these drugs on the respiratory and lung health."
There are options for people who cannot find a physical meeting, said Dorschu. Include the phone and other technologies to keep in touch.
"You have to make concerted efforts to reach your sponsor every day, who is a recovery coach, a kind of mentor who helps you through the 12 steps (recovery in AA and NA)," said Dorschu.
There are also internet-based meetings that can be found at intherooms.com. While you can't get hugs and handshakes there, it's one way to keep a meeting schedule, Dorschu said. He added that people who tried it told him that the internet reviews were helpful.
Hope One coordinator Scott Gras, who is recovering from heroin addiction in the long term, runs the Atlantic County Outreach Van to provide treatment. He said that many of the people Hope One works with live on the streets. Usually he and others sit in the van and move to where people are who need help. Now they're in an office, waiting for calls.
"It's a big crisis. A lot of people will suffer," Gras said. "All of our contacts are canceled. The only way to get in touch with us is to get direct help by phone at 609-909-7200."
While it is a more difficult situation, he said that Hope One is still able to help.
"Yesterday we sent nine people for treatment," Gras said recently.
Some meetings have continued in external locations, but people need to know about them. Mouth. Participants are nervous about publishing them for fear that the police won't allow them to continue, the organizers said.
Like most active treatment program operators, Lighthouse is continuing its programs, Dorschu said, with adjustments related to physical proximity, people are allowed to clean and strengthen facilities.
The State Human Services Mental Health and Addiction Service supports a hotline at number 866-202-4357, operated by the Mental Health Association of New Jersey, for assistance and recommendations on mental health problems. It now also offers trained specialists to help people cope with the anxiety caused by COVID-19, the state said on Monday.