One Community’s Struggle with Addiction During the Pandemic Illustrates a Nationwide Crisis Warns The Source Addiction Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale
September 30, 2021 at 23:36
Fort Lauderdale, FL - Covid-19 came in like a wrecking ball quickly changing everything about the world we live in. Its impacts have known no bounds, from hospitals to schools to restaurants, there has not been a single institution left untouched by the changes we’ve come to know as the new normal.
For people struggling with mental health, substance abuse and addiction, the impacts of Covid-19 have been especially difficult. 2020 brought the highest spike in overdose fatalities in 30 years. 93,331 people died from overdoses just last year alone, a 30% increase from the previous year. Addiction experts attribute this steep increase to the isolation, loss of valuable resources, and widespread mental health issues which resulted from the pandemic. The global pandemic collided with America’s ongoing opioid epidemic creating a particularly deadly combination.
The town of Martinsburg, West Virginia is one case in point. This small, rural community knows all too well the grip opioid addiction has on people and they’ve seen their share of overdose fatalities, 106 in Berkeley County alone last year. To put this in perspective, the overdose death rate was nearly double the COVID-19 death rate in the county.
Rachel Lambert is a resident of Martinsburg and a recovering addict and peer recovery coach. She spoke to The Wall Street Journal about her experience with addiction and helping those in recovery during the pandemic. Lambert discussed how nationwide lockdowns abruptly halted necessary addiction treatment resources in her community.
Treatment centers closed and meetings moved to virtual platforms in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID, but the implications of leaving people without access to treatment were detrimental to the community. Lambert, who facilitates support groups at Day Report Center, took matters into her own hands and advocated for the importance of face-to-face treatment for those struggling with addiction.
“One thing you don’t want to tell an alcoholic or an addict to do is to isolate. And here I am being forced to isolate,” she said. “I felt helpless. I felt useless. Because my people are still dying.” Her groups have helped countless people in recovery, as well as a lot of people in her community who relapsed during the pandemic. These people were spouses, children, siblings, parents and grandparents, who felt the incredible weight of isolation and despair when the nation was unsure of what the next day may bring and the support they received at such a pivotal time was instrumental in keeping them clean and sober.
Both Covid and addiction are isolating diseases that leave people feeling alone and unsure about the future. The support of friends, family, and community in these times can make all the difference. A recent study by the University of Michigan’s Substance Abuse Research Center found that those who attended 12-step meetings after completing an addiction treatment program were two times more likely to remain sober in the year following than those who do not. Human beings are social by nature, so having a place to share successes, confide in others, and have a sense of accountability is important, especially in early recovery.
The Source Addiction Treatment Center knows the importance of community for anyone recovering from addiction. “At The Source, our entire staff and every client is a member of the family,” said founder and Director of Operations, Bill Rodman. “Our approach is to work through the pain with you, love you when no one else will, and help you on your way to a life that is filled with hope and joy beyond your wildest dreams.”
Anyone in need of help for addiction, whether for themselves or a loved one, can speak to a treatment specialist anytime by calling (800) 204-0418. To learn more, visit https://www.thesourcetreatmentcenter.com.
For more information about The Source Treatment Center, contact the company here:
The Source Treatment Center
1730 E Commercial Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334