It has been an unusual year. The pandemic arrived unexpectedly, and only now are we starting to see the end come into sight. It has been an incredibly tough year for all of us — a year of isolation from family, friends, workplaces (our ‘work-families’). Some people have found silver linings in the darkest of clouds, like the absence of a commute. The overall cost, however — to ourselves, our kids, and society overall — is still unknown. We do know that the rate of Substance Use Disorders (SUD) has increased meaningfully.
COVID-19 and the Increase in Substance Use Disorders
In May 2020, early in the pandemic, the CDC reported 81,000 deaths in the prior year due to opioids alone, which was the highest on record. The rate of alcohol consumption has also jumped up, with sales reportedly 25-30% greater than pre-pandemic. Binge drinking especially has grown. People are grappling with lots of anxiety and so many have turned to substances to help reduce their symptoms.
It has been said that “the antidote to addiction is connection.” It’s no surprise then that reduced social interactions have intensified substance use disorders.
Detoxing During a Pandemic is Increasing
We at the Coleman Network for Addiction Medicine have seen an increase in people reaching out to learn about our program, since they know that they will soon have to go back to their physical workplaces. Many people are facing the reality that their alcohol consumption sharply increased.
Working from home has made it pretty easy to hide problems one may have with substances, since you don’t have to drive as much and you can turn off your camera on a videoconference. Whatever someone’s particular situation, it is a really good time to evaluate your substance use and plan for a safe, effective way to address it as you return to “normal” life.
Specializing in Accelerated Outpatient Detoxes
The Coleman Network for Addiction Medicine specializes in accelerated, outpatient withdrawal management services (detoxification). We have refined our medical protocols for more than 20 years at multiple locations across the country.
Our completion rate is 98% — meaning that 98% of patients that walk into our offices for their first day of treatment complete the process successfully and get onto a long-acting (non-addictive) opioid blocker called naltrexone. This is a testimony to the effectiveness of the protocols developed by Dr. Peter Coleman, as well as the caring, experienced staff who guide patients and their companions through the process.
The best news is that there appears to be an end in sight to this COVID disruption we have all been living through. If you want to discuss treatment options for a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) involving alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines, we would be happy to answer your questions.
Deborah Reich, MD