Coronavirus pandemic sees spike in substance abuse

Coronavirus pandemic sees spike in substance abuse

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The pandemic has taken its toll on all of us, especially those who were down well before the virus came along. And for those who just started to regain control, COVID-19 made the road to recovery that much more difficult.

“I was sober when COVID-19 hit and I’ve relapsed twice since then just since it hit in the last year...this is my third time”, said Dustin Daniels who is a resident at the O’Brien House rehab facility.

“I had an injury at the same time COVID-19 hit so we weren’t able to do meetings--see a lot of it has to do with the relationships and the community and the fellowship, doing service work and having a place to go you know to replace that hole you know”, said Daniel Dossey another O’Brien resident.

One of the key components in recovering from addiction is the ability to share your struggle with others who are going through the same thing. And fellowship became less available during the lockdowns, causing a spike in relapses.

“That is detrimental, and when you don’t have that nothing ensures us and so I know a lot of people who have fell back into it, a lot of good really caring people and its really really having an effect on our community”, said Daniels.

“The main things is not having the meeting, not having the fellowship, not being able many things just changed real quick. And when that kinda got stopped for just was hard”, said Dossey.

Dr. Louis Cataldie is an addiction medicine specialist with capital area human services and agrees that medical treatment only goes so far.

“It’s a biological social dysfunction, the medication can help with the biological for one substance only, but the social and psychological involvement is best done on an in-person basis”, said Dr. Cataldie

It’s important to know that there is help out there. And places like the O’Brien House and others offer around the clock care for those who seek it.

“24 hours a day I promise there’s somebody there to reach out. Anybody that’s been around AA or scared of AA, we welcome anybody with open arms that needs help...anybody, we do not discriminate because it doesn’t discriminate against us”, said Daniels.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, take charge by making the first step and reaching out to, call the O’Brien House at (225) 344-6345, or reach out to @AgapeAngels4life on Facebook and get the help you need.

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