Isolation and social distancing hurts those recovering from substance abuse

Florida Coronavirus News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–With Americans across the country forced into isolation, those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction can face extremely difficult challenges. Local experts say that a sense of “community” is crucial for those on the road to recovery. Isolation and social distancing can be very dangerous for recovery.

“Anytime you have a difficult set of circumstances and you’re anxious like we are with COVID-19, it does increase substance abuse,” said Brittany Cole, Marketing and Public Relations Director for Life Management Center of Northwest Florida.

And the demand for help is on the rise.

“We’re not being able to meet the demands of the community right now because of mental health, the need is so great,” Cole said.

Local experts say isolation creates a void; something that can be very dangerous for addicts.

“What they do if they want to fill that void, they think that drugs and alcohol will fill that void and they’ll return to that,” said Xuripha Ancrum, the Outpatient Program Director for CARE.

Many recovering addicts rely on in-person meetings and counseling like alcoholics and narcotics anonymous.

Due to social distancing, many are losing access to the things their lives depend on.

“That can be very difficult. You can feel very alone if you’re not being able to sit next to someone and connect with someone especially when you’re talking about something so personal as any type of addiction,” Cole said.

Both Ancrum and Cole recommend people take advantage of telehealth visits and modern-day technology.

“Social distancing doesn’t mean disconnect so it’s really important that they stay connected,” Ancrum said.

Life Management says their 24-hour crisis line is available for those finding it difficult to deal with being isolated.

“It’s important that if you feel like you are going to relapse that you do talk to someone. If you don’t have a sponsor, then make sure you go and look for groups online,” Cole said.

CARE is also actively helping local individuals in recovery throughout the pandemic.

To learn more about CARE’s resources, visit http://care4000.com/

To learn more about Life Management, visit https://lmccares.org/


Report a coronavirus-related news tip

We’re working to cover how COVID-19 is affecting Floridians like you, beyond what official information is being released.

Have you or someone close to you been monitored, quarantined or tested — and can you share about the process? Are you a medical professional dealing with this who wants to share your experience and needs at this time? Are you a student or worker affected by closures? Are there questions you have about the coronavirus and COVID-19 response that haven’t been answered? We want to hear about your experience.

We cannot provide medical advice. Please speak to your doctor about any symptoms you’re experiencing

We understand this is a sensitive and private issue and we are willing to protect your identity if you request it. Please include a valid email and/or phone number so we can follow up.

Please fill out the form below or email news@wmbb.com

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local News Video

Downtown PC hosts Oktoberfest

Sports Bars Phase 3

Voluntary Home Buyout Program

Ascension Sacred Heart Bay Visitation

Jackson County Scams

Washington County schools recieves $500,000 grant

More Local News

Golf Pass