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How does a family proceed with an intervention amidst a pandemic?  How do families cope with the increasing worry about their loved ones being isolated and abusing drugs?  Professional intervention is a practical solution and done at any time, especially now.  Millions of Americans across the nation are sitting at home, managing a new way of life, although temporary, and many know of a loved one addicted to drugs.  Families across the country are worried about this person using drugs or alcohol, all the while they are being told to social distance.  Unfortunately, COVID-19 has serious potential implications for individuals with a drug or alcohol addiction. Family Intervention Services is still a sizable need. 

Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the virus is a severe threat to those who smoke tobacco, marijuana, or those who vape.  People who are abusing opioids or methamphetamine are also vulnerable because of how those drugs affect the respiratory system. Family intervention takes control and saves their life, regardless of the pandemic.  Drug and alcohol intervention programs work closely with various treatment centers.  Rehabilitation centers across the country are adapting to this pandemic because those with a substance use disorder still need help.  

The current pandemic is a dangerous threat to current drug users, and in the end, will be a contributing factor in creating new drug users.  However, currently, these substance abuse issues are adding to the already over-stressed health care system in many states.  A drug abuse intervention program ensures the family has the resources they need to help their loved one.             

Potential Spike in Overdose Deaths Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and millions of Americans are forced into weeks of extended isolation.  Some communities across the country have reported a surge in overdose deaths, prompting family members and health officials to raise a concern about those suffering from addiction.  In March of this year, the fire and rescue department in Jacksonville, Florida, reported a 20% increase in overdose emergency calls.  The county coroner’s office in Columbus, Ohio, saw 12 overdose deaths occur within a 24-hour period during the first week of April this year.  Counties in New York State have also reported an increase in overdose deaths.  Erie County, New York saw close to 110 drug overdoses and 36 deaths since the beginning of March of this year.

When this is all over, this pandemic will have created many more drug and alcohol users.  However, we will not know what the numbers will be until it is too late.  Yet, when compared to prior years, it may be higher.  Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2018, there were 4.9 million new alcohol users, 3.1 million new marijuana users, and 1.9 million new pain medication users.  During that same year, 20.3 million Americans aged 12 and older had a substance use disorder related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs.  

Planning Family Intervention Services During COVID-19

How does a family prevent an overdose death?  Family intervention and working with a professional interventionist.  Organizing this process begins with contacting our family intervention group.  Because we work closely with many different treatment programs, we are aware of what measures they are taking to keep everybody safe.  For example, treatment facilities are adhering to policies from the local, state, and federal health authorities.  When patients enter a program, their temperatures are taken, all proper steps are also made for hand-washing, disinfecting, and social distancing.  Every treatment program has a policy in place to keep staff and patients safe.  Additionally, our team takes the highest level of care and precaution before meeting with the family and performing the intervention.

The Dangers of Isolation and Substance Abuse

Although some may find this hard to believe, and intervention is a take a stance approach to helping drug addicts. Interventions save lives, and especially now, these steps are vital.  Isolation and loneliness have an overwhelming effect on drug addiction and alcoholism.  People who feel more socially isolated generally deal with increased substance abuse issues.  Many people turn to drugs and alcohol when they are lonely, and to make it worse when they have been laid off or lost their job.  Unfortunately, addiction by nature isolates people, which is why family intervention is so essential.  During this pandemic, drugs and alcohol have become a means of coping with stress, depression, anxiety, and fear.  

These problems are made worse in households with families, such as with parents, children, and spouses.  People who use drugs not only hurt themselves but hurt the people around them.  The added stress of uncertainty, addiction, finances, and old arguments creates a volatile environment.  Drug abuse intervention takes control, places the family in control, and, more importantly, saves the life of the drug user.  Our intervention team will help your family through this.  The treatment centers across the nation will not stop treating patients; anyone struggling with addiction should not be left in isolation during this pandemic.  You are helping drug addicts, and the entire family, with family intervention services.      

News Sources Cited:
https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2020/04/14/jfrd-jacksonville-overdose-calls-increased-by-20-in-march/
https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/franklin-county-coroner-reports-12-suspected-overdose-deaths-in-48-hours
https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdny/pr/sharp-rise-fatal-drug-overdoses-erie-county-during-past-month-buffalo-man-arrested-and

References Cited:
https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2020/04/covid-19-potential-implications-individuals-substance-use-disorders    
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018.pdf


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