Every September, we observe National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and/or substance use disorders and treatment options. Addiction can be treated and successfully managed so patients may live a healthy and rewarding life. Kindred Behavioral Health is proud to partner with hospitals and health systems to deliver behavioral health programs to best serve the needs of these patients.

Raising Awareness and Celebrating Those in Recovery

The statistics on drug addiction are staggering. In 2017, an estimated 20.7 million people age 12 and older needed treatment for a substance use disorder. However, only four million people received treatment, or about 19% of those who needed it.1

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting new strains on individuals and contributing to escalating risk factors and consumption. Online alcohol sales reported a 243% increase in just two weeks after the nationwide quarantine began. And for those in recovery, COVID-related restrictions create a clear risk of relapse without the full access to various components within their previously established recovery programs.

For others, the global pandemic may open new doors for treatment access. Rapid changes in regulations and guidelines initiated during the COVID-19 response, may open up the potential for individuals with untreated substance use disorders due to socioeconomic barriers, to now achieve a treatment access point. For example, recent policy changes are making it more possible for clinics with stringent in-person requirements to provide addiction care through telemedicine means, such as video chat and telephone calls. 

Addiction is a complex disease that affects the brain and a person’s behavior. People with a severe substance disorder are continually chasing the high of the drug and stopping is no longer a matter of will power. Over time these substances change how the brain functions, altering one’s judgment, decision-making skills, memory and ability to learn. 

  • Irritability when substance is unavailable or commitments keep you from using
  • Arguing with others about your use
  • Lying about how much you use
  • Drinking or using with the intention to get drunk or high
  • Needing to use more than you used to get the desired effect
  • Using without regard for the consequences on family, work or health

Whether you are someone who has been in recovery for drug or alcohol abuse and is now at risk of relapsing, or you are someone attempting to access interventions for the first time, there is help available for you. Call 1-800-622-HELP(4357) to connect with the SAMHSA hotline. They are available to help you take that first step, or your next step toward a healthier life. 


References:

  1. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics
  2. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-alcohol-sales-spike-during-coronavirus-outbreak-2020-04-01
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