By the summer of 2020, when a global pandemic and national lockdown was impacting life as we knew it, everyone struggled and faced more stress than we had ever known, coupled with uncertainty. It has been challenging for everyone, no matter where you live in the world.
What if you are a person enduring an addiction? Have you ever considered how someone who was already struggling to manage it all would add even more stress? Their challenges suddenly got worse in many ways. Not only were they managing their addiction but also attempting to seek treatment and addiction intervention. Many treatment centers and halfway houses had to limit taking on any additional people to help. Many people with addictions became more isolated and couldn’t attend regular meetings. By the time virtual ones were set up and established, many were not able to attend. All of the support a person enduring an addiction had found disappeared quickly, leaving them to figure it out alone or without the help of professionals.
It is reported that many addiction treatment centers have seen a relapse of their patients during lockdowns and quarantines. This relapse has been reported to be as large as 40% and has included the addition of fentanyl in addition to the patient’s usual drug of choice. Fentanyl seems to be everywhere throughout the United States. In addition, typical street drugs are now being laced with fentanyl.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic drug compared to morphine; only it is way more powerful than morphine. As a result, opioids and fentanyl are the leading cause of overdose in America. While overdose rates were already on the rise before the pandemic, the lockdowns and isolation exacerbated this increase resulting in over 93,000 overdose deaths reported in 2020 alone. This is an increase of 20,000 individuals over 2019, which had already set a new record high.
Of these 93,000 overdose deaths, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl were involved in 60% of the deaths. This increase and a large number of opioid deaths could be because people who are already struggling with addiction are now faced with added pressures of isolation, more mental health issues, loneliness, more stress to manage, which has frequently resulted in more substance abuse.
Fentanyl is thought to be a cheap alternative to drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. It is easy for drug traffickers to infuse it into products and sell it in kilograms for a low price. As a result, users experience a more potent high and addiction than they would with other drugs. One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill over 500,000 people. Fentanyl is everywhere and is being laced in so many different drugs, such as marijuana.
Sometimes the path to success is a halfway house where full recovery in a close environment can occur. Often, a person struggling with an addiction needs hand-in-hand addiction intervention and support in a halfway house where the help can be maximized instead of a weekly therapy session to discover sober living.
The variants of COVID-19 are making our desired return to normalcy challenging. Of course, weekly and even virtual meetings are better than nothing, but nothing replaces living in a halfway house where treatment can be face-to-face, body language can be seen, and emotions shared more easily. Addictions are in control of the person suffering. Seeing the person helps discover the truth as their words cannot always be trusted. They want to be well and often think of themselves as well, but faking it until you make it doesn’t work for those enduring addictions. Recovery is possible. Your life can be better. Reach out today.