covid relapse

Covid Relapse: Avoiding Relapse During Isolation

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Substance abuse is extremely challenging to overcome. It can affect everything from a person’s familial relationships to their job and their self-confidence. If you are with someone who has a substance abuse disorder, it is extremely important to support them through their journey of recovery in an empathetic manner. The reality is that a covid relapse is a real issue during this time of global pandemic. It is important that you take care of yourself or your family member, now more than ever.


There are many external stressors that may cause a person to relapse during the pandemic. For instance, they could lose their job and feel a huge amount of anxiety as a result. On the other hand, someone might turn to drinking once more because they have way too much on their plate, and they feel completely overwhelmed. Along with this, simply living in a time where constant vigilance and personal safety (as well as loved ones) has brought record statistics of stress.


Struggling with an addiction is difficult, even on the best days. However, it can be incredibly challenging when social distancing and public regulations require people with substance use disorder to isolate themselves. Receiving the support of their family members in a caring manner can help many people navigate their path to recovery. It is vital that people in recovery stay connected to their support group and any other safe communities to keep themselves on track and avoid the covid relapse.


When someone who has a substance abuse disorder is recovering, it’s very important for them to avoid the people who encouraged their addiction in the first place. The isolation of quarantine or social distancing may tempt individuals with addictions to reach out to friends or acquaintances that spur triggers. If they’re around someone who is always on drugs or who offers them substance or someone who gives them a hard time for not partaking in certain substances anymore, this can be extremely harmful. It’s essential for people with substance abuse disorder to only be around folks who support them getting clean and are in a healthy place in their lives.


It’s very important to replace the time in isolation that could be spent drinking or using drugs with other activities that you enjoy. Taking a walk outside or even more isolated in nature is one possibility for healthy movement. When people who suffer from substance use disorder go through the tedious process of overcoming their addiction, they often feel very lonely and experience a great deal of self-pity. If the emptiness of letting go is not filled with positive activities, it can lead to a relapse. It is vital to bring love, joy, and happiness into your life on a regular basis. Come up with a list of hobbies and activities you can enjoy during this time of social distancing, and make sure you take part on a regular basis.


Sometimes, recovery can be a difficult trek. When a person who suffers from an addiction realizes that they have been clean for a certain amount of time, they might think to themselves that it’s okay to have just one beer, or whatever else it might be. This possibility is even more acute when we think there is little hope or little accountability. Remember, the best moment to stop your relapse is this one right now. Choose today, this moment to keep your life on track and moving forward. And remember, one is too many  and a thousand will never be enough.


It can be so easy for someone to expect immediate results if they are struggling with an addiction and decide to take the necessary steps to recover. They might be disappointed if they drink one beer when they told themselves they wouldn’t drink anything. It’s very important to note that these changes will be gradual and will probably not happen overnight. Even when you have the luxury of time on your hands, it’s important to keep taking things one day at a time.

Addiction is a condition that is extremely challenging to cope with. But recovery is possible and it brings incredible rewards. If you find that this time of isolation and pandemic are more than you can handle, please call us for help finding a solid footing.

First Steps Recovery is a rehab center in Fresno, California that offers excellent addiction treatments. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse disorder, we are here to help. You can contact us at 844-489-0836.

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