Making the Transition from Addiction Treatment to Life in Quarantine
If you or a loved one is in addiction treatment, or nearly ready for discharge, you may feel uneasy about reentering into this new life we find ourselves in. There is no doubt, things have changed as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. If you take a walk around the streets or make a trip to the grocery store, it is almost like something out of a movie. Everyone wearing a mask, nobody within 6-feet of each other, small mom-and-pop stores shut down. The sights and sounds of quarantined life can be a bit intimidating.
However, if discharge from addiction treatment looms near, the pressure may seem even greater. Inpatient addiction treatment, while it absolutely has its benefits, is a bubble. It is a safe place to remove oneself from his/her drug of choice, and begin to develop the tools to achieve long term sobriety. Upon entering the real world, those tools will be put to the test. Unfortunately, as a result of COVID-19 and mandatory quarantine guidelines, some of those tools are limited, but still available.
We will break down some practical suggestions to share with your loved one if he or she is getting ready to leave addiction treatment and enter quarantine.
1. Attend an Online 12-Step Fellowship Meeting
12-Step Fellowship meetings are at the core of addiction recovery. Members in the recovery community can come together each night to support and motivate each other during the good and bad times. However, with the quarantine, in-person meetings have been shut down.
Luckily, with the power of the Internet, 12-step fellowship groups are able to meet via online Zoom meetings. From the comfort of their own home, the members of the group can still meet to read, talk, and reflect on the best practices to stay clean and sober. If you are worried about feeling alone, Zoom 12-step meetings will provide that feeling of community you desperately need in early recovery. It is not uncommon for those in recovery to attend several Zoom meetings each day.
If you are in the South Jersey area, you can find a list of Zoom meetings here.
2. Admit Into a Sober Living Facility
What is a primary cause of relapse? Isolation. With quarantine comes isolation. These next few months can be very difficult for those in early recovery if they spend too much time alone.
As of now, most sober living programs are accepting new residents upon thorough health screening.
At a sober living, it will be much more difficult to isolate and disconnect while you are among several roommates that are also in early recovery. However, if you are stuck at Mom and Dad’s house, or locked away in a studio apartment, the feelings of isolation and loneliness might take their hold a bit easier. Remember: recovery is a team sport. If you can live amongst your teammates, you will have a much better chance at long term success.
3. Join the YPAA Live – Online Workshops Facebook Group
This suggestion is more directed towards young people in recovery, but any and all can benefit. On Facebook, a group has been created called YPAA Live – Online Workshops. Group members come from all across the country, and provide support and guidance for those new to the recovery game. Every day, you will find people posting about new online meetings, sponsors available to help, and other resources to assist you on your recovery journey.
Addiction is a disease of isolation. When leaving addiction treatment, the trend, especially amongst young people, is to isolate. Loneliness is particularly more dangerous during these times, as we forced to remain in our homes away from our friends and family.
Nonetheless, recovery is still possible. We hope these few actionable steps will help you on your journey as you leave addiction treatment. Get plugged in, stay involved, and remain in the middle of the pack. There is a community of people ready to help you!
As always, if you or a loved one need helping appropriate addiction treatment, please give us a call. Our Executive Director is ready to help you take the first step to a life of recovery.