Dangers of substance use disorder continue, despite COVID-19 crisis
Despite the pandemic, the opioid crisis is still going on. People battling a substance use disorder still need to receive treatment and recovery services.
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — Despite the pandemic, the opioid crisis is still going on. People battling a substance use disorder still need to receive treatment and recovery services.
“We have a lot going on right now, we have a lot to worry about. But I think we absolutely cannot forget about substance use disorders, alcohol use particularly,” said Sara Goldsby, Director for the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS).
The COVID-19 crisis affects everyone, and can be especially troubling for someone battling a substance use disorder.
“The COVID-19 situation can bring on anxiety, worry, uncertainty and frustration in anyone. And any and all of these feelings can drive a desire to use alcohol or drugs to cope,” said Goldsby.
Isolation can be a big risk for anyone in recovery, which experts say could lead to an overdose.
“When substance use disorders go untreated, even as we know with opioid use disorder when it goes untreated, our top concern is overdose death. And so we know that there is an increased risk of overdose under the current circumstances,” said Goldsby.
For those in recovery or receiving treatment, those services can’t be put on hold.
“Anybody with a substance use disorder who needs treatment and asks for help, that treatment has to be available at that exact time,” said Goldbsy. “In the last several weeks, we’ve really worked closely with our contracted treatment providers around the state, to make sure that those who are in treatment, currently, the psycho behavioral treatment or medical treatment of substance use disorder, none of those services lapse.”
Connection during this time is key, and through technology, that connection can continue.
“Connection brings hope, and continued social connectedness is really important to maintain recovery,” said Goldsby.
Make sure your family is kept safe at home by keeping prescriptions locked up.
“We have had a surge in calls to our agency, primarily by family members who are at home with somebody they are now recognizing that family member has an issue with substance use or alcohol, and so a lot of calls have come in to be seeking some services. And those services are available telephonically and virtually,” said Goldsby.
There are resources available right now if you have questions or need help. You can call the DAODAS office at 803-896-5555, or visit the website at www.daodas.sc.gov.
You can also find more information and resources at justplainkillers.com.