CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Drug and alcohol addiction is, sadly, very common across the Mountain State.
And now, with recovering addicts stuck at home due to COVID-19, the fight against addiction, which often depends on group therapy, is nearly impossible with the mandate of social distancing.
“The isolation part is taking a toll on a lot of them,” says Megen Casto-Dilley, with the Jackson County Bomar Club.
“There has definitely been a rise in relapses and overdoses. Not just in the Lincoln County area, but other areas as well,” says Ryan Elkins with the Lincoln County Community Outreach Program.
“I’ve had many of them, both in and out of programs, telling me this is a struggle because they’re not being able to get out. They’re not being able to work. They’re not able to sidetrack themselves,” says Lynn Eldridge, a Kanawha County clinical therapist.
In addition to being stuck at home, there is an increasing lack of resources; as many programs are shutting their doors to those depending on social interaction to help their recovery.
“Several have reached out recently wanting to go to rehab, and that’s a huge barrier right now because the rehabs aren’t taking anybody; they’re afraid of the pandemic themselves,” says Casto-Dilley.
“There is a lot of people who are struggling due to the lack of meetings,” says Elkins. “You know in person meetings, because everything has gone virtual. Everything is online. And a lot of people that I know in recovery don’t have the means to log on to the internet.”
So how can a recovering addict stay strong and succeed in their fight with addiction?
“Stay in touch with your support group,” says Casto-Dilley. “Talk with your sponsor if you have one, or a recovery coach; just stay connected.”
“If you have a phone, use it,” says Elkins. “If you have internet access, there are meetings all day every day.”
Also, there are some programs still open to recovering addicts; like in Boone County.
“Our case load has not slowed down at all, since the coronavirus has really taken off,” says Brent Tomblin with Boone County’s Brighter Futures.
Tomblin says the clinic’s doors will remain open: “until we have to close, we will still take on new patients.”
There is help available. You just have to find it.
Below is a list of resources in West Virginia. If you are struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Boone County: ‘Brighter Futures’ 304-369-7876
Lincoln County: Lincoln County Community Outreach Program link to Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lincolncountycommunityoutreach/
Kanawha County: Recovery Point WV https://www.recoverypointwv.org/
Jackson County: Bomar Club www.facebook.com/bomarclub