From Baptist Health South Florida
3 min. read
Thecoronavirus pandemic has affected millions of Americans who have sufferedhardships over the past several months. Some have lost their jobs and othersare working from home while balancing their children’s virtual education. Asthe quarantine has progressed, many are missing the normalcy of socialgatherings and other activities outside the home.
Septemberis National Recovery Month, which aims toeducate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services canenable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy andrewarding lives.
Mentalhealth experts have been warning about the psychological effect the pandemicmay have on many Americans. The economic stress, coupled with the anxiety anddepression brought on by being home alone, could have a lasting impact. Somehealthcare professionals are worried these factors may also contribute to anincrease in addiction to alcohol and other substances. A recent study ispointing to exactly that.
The Recovery Village® recently conducted a survey on past-month drug and alcohol use to better understand how the pandemic is currently affecting substance use in the United States.
Resultsof The Recovery Village® Survey
Thesurvey asked 1,000 American adults (ages 18 and older) about their use of drugsand alcohol in the past month. Some questions asked respondents to select eachoption that applied, so in a few instances, the total percentage will begreater than one hundred.
Thesurvey respondents most commonly used:
Additionally,many respondents displayed higher rates of drug and alcohol use. Of therespondents:
Inthe states hardest hit by the coronavirus (NY, NJ, MA, RI, CT), 67% reported anincrease in past-month alcohol consumption, with 25% reporting a significantincrease
Theparticipants were asked why they were prompted to use substances within thelast month. Of the respondents:
Survey Courtesy: The Recovery Village®
Whatthe Results Mean
“Our numbers are increasing–new patients with issues with alcohol use and established patients with a resurgence of their alcohol use,” says Rachel V.F. Rohaidy, M.D., a Baptist Health psychiatrist and medical director at The Recovery Village Miami at Baptist Health, who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental, addictive and emotional disorders. She added, “I think that technology has played a part in the ease of accessing alcohol as we are now able to have things delivered to us and packaged for us for pickup.”
Theresults of the survey are concerning. Once people turn to drugs and alcohol,there is concern that it can turn into a substance use disorder, which cansometimes come with co-occurring mental health disorders.
Dr.Rohaidy offers these tips to help reduce the stress brought on by the pandemic:
Ifyou or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse and co-occurringmental health concerns, The Recovery Villageat Baptist Healthcan help. The first step is to contact a compassionate intakecoordinator, many of whom arein recovery themselves, to learn more about addiction, treatment options andthe recovery process.
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