Keeping social while distancing important in maintaining long-term sobriety
RAPID CITY, S.D. – As social distancing becomes a societal mechanism to prevent the spread of COVID-19, maintaining relationships between friends and families is proving more and more important. For people in the constant fight against addiction, not being able to turn to meetings, community events, or even just leaving the house, could add another challenge on top of existing ones.
“This time, more than any, it’s really super important that we stay in touch and that we stay kind,” said Annie Loyd, CEO of Recovery Communities in South Dakota.
Loyd works from home so the “social distancing” isn’t completely new but with more people staying home, not having the option to connect in the community is a challenge. Loyd says in order to maintain long-term sobriety, togetherness can be a huge contributor.
“You walk with people, you pick up the phone, you have a cup of coffee,” said Loyd.
She says when restaurants and businesses start emptying out amid COVID-19 concerns, the effect on employment can spiral into anxiety over basic needs like bills, childcare, grocery shopping, and more. That anxiety could play a roll in relapsing for some.
“I talked to someone yesterday, long-term recovery, and they just wanted to drink yesterday,” said Loyd.
Loyd says a misconception exists surrounding what leads to addiction. “So many people think that substance use or abuse is the problem so they think meth or alcohol is the problem,” said Loyd. “Those are solutions people have developed over the years to deal with the hurt and the pain.”
Resources for those struggling with any type of addiction can be found online through the Recovery Communities of South Dakota or by calling 605-858-1385. For any type of help, the 211 Helpline Center also offers a variety of resources.
Getting to the point of seeking resources, may not be as easy as it sounds for some people. That’s why Loyd is encouraging people to reach out and check in on their friends and family during this time of self-quarantine. She says the opportunity gives you the chance to stay close with others in the time of physical distancing but also, the simple act may mean more to others who may be struggling to seek social interactions.
“It makes a difference, it creates a really positive ripple,” said Loyd.
So while people may be apart, keep them close.