Dr. Josh: Addiction and recovery during a pandemic especially challenging

Coronavirus and substance abuse

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The uncertain era of COVID-19 is troubling for everyone, but especially for those battling addiction.

Many people have been isolated, communicating mainly through screens.

“We are seeing zoom, facetime and virtual meetings, we are seeing virtual mental health treatments, we’re seeing all that, but it still is a challenge,” said Dr. Josh Klapow, Clinical psychologist.

Routine is essential in recovery, and life right now, is anything but normal.

“They’re working on changing their life and their habits and routine, independent of anything else that’s going on, so that is stressful and difficult,” said Dr. Klapow.

Double stress… doubled temptation to relapse.

“The amount of pressure and change that we are under right now, it’s not about being weak or just sad or nervous, this is about a medical condition that can absolutely be treated,” said Dr. Klapow.

Treatment starts with knowing what you can control, instead of what you can’t.

“I can reach out to a sponsor, I can reach out to a mental health professional, I can control my day to the best of my ability,” said Dr. Klapow.

Set small goals, like getting up, brushing your teeth and going to work.

“Make things predictable that are within your control, that’s what we all have to do,” said Dr. Klapow.

If you or a loved one is in crisis and needs immediate help you can call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 and speak with someone about how to get help.

Dr. Klapow also has COVID-19 coping tips on his website, joshklapow.com.

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