There are so many barriers to getting treatment for addiction. The biggest is usually acknowledging that we need treatment. If we can get past that, or people we love enough are able to convince us that we need to get help, then there are other questions. What do we tell our employers, friends, and family? What kind of coverage do we have for treatment on our medical insurance? These are all concerns that can be navigated, but this year, a new concern emerged in a global pandemic. There are so many fears surrounding the virus, but is residential treatment for addiction safe during COVID-19?
Breaking Down Barriers to Treatment
It is difficult enough to come to the terms that we might need help with our substance abuse. It is even more difficult to work through all of the barriers and potential barriers that prevent us from getting treatment. Often, the biggest barrier is ourselves, and the other barriers are deflections of that truth that we know deep down inside: We need help. Some of these barriers include:
- I don’t have a problem – Denial is the number one barrier to treatment. The idea of family or friends holding an intervention stems from this truth, when it may take the people who love us most to help us be honest with ourselves.
- Dysfunctional or codependent relationships – We look to our loved ones for support, but sometimes their own codependency and dysfunction works against us. They realize that if you get healthy, then their dysfunction and need to take care of us is exposed, so they actually may discourage treatment.
- Fear – Fear of withdrawal, fear of the unknown, fear of the work it takes to become sober, fear of failure, fear of being emotionally and physically healthy, fear of being worthy.
- Privacy – Disappearing from family or work for the duration of our residential treatment raises questions we may not want to answer.
- Cost – This barrier has been broken down by government policies that mandate care for addiction within medical insurance, as well as government-funded programs for addiction treatment. Most employers are also mandated to give time off for treatment without the loss of our job.
- Family or work commitments – Caregivers and certain jobs may find it difficult to find coverage for us in our time away, but where there is a will, there is a way.
- Access to proper treatment – Some find it difficult to access programs that are full or are geographically convenient, however, there are many facilities with space available if we are willing to look. If we are staying for some time, anyway, the location becomes less important.
This year, some of us want to add COVID-19 to that list. However, this virus may actually create more reasons to access treatment than barriers. In fact, this may be the perfect time for us to get the help we need.
Weighing the Consequences
The news has been a constant barrage of how to stay safe and there are guidelines everywhere we go to help us remember. So how safe is residential treatment? Like all healthcare now, treatment in person is based on needs and the level of risk. A lot of therapy and even psychiatric care is taking place via telehealth. However, some health needs cannot be met online. Treatment for addiction is one of those health needs. Sometimes, the health risks of addiction are higher than the odds of contracting COVID-19. Certainly, the benefits of beginning recovery outweigh the risks we may incur during residential treatment. It is important to weigh the consequences.
Seizing the Day
For many of us who are not working, working fewer hours, or telecommuting during the pandemic this is actually a great time to begin our recovery. Taking the time to attend residential treatment now, when things are slower, allows us to begin healing when we would not be missing out on nearly as much. It also allows us to hit the ground running when things pick up again because we will be healthier and able to function better.
Why Treatment Is the Safest Place
Residential facilities are required to take every safety precaution during the pandemic, which means that for us, it may actually be the safest place to be. Not only because health and safety precautions are likely more stringent than our own, but also because recovering from addiction is safer than being at home alone with our addiction. The risks of more depression, anxiety, substance abuse, self-harm, and suicide have jumped astronomically during this pandemic, and we are safer with supervision and people who can help us than we are trying to fight it on our own.
Is residential treatment safe during COVID-19? Because we are staying long term and interacting with the same people during our stay, it actually may be. When we run out of excuses not to treat and work through all of our barriers, this is actually the perfect time to seek treatment for addiction to substances. Not only that, but because residential treatment facilities care for our mental and our physical health, it may actually be the safest place to be. Rancho Milagro Recovery makes every effort to keep us safe from the virus while we are also healing. By calling us at (951) 526-4582, we can talk to you about making yourself safe from the potential mental and physical health risks of addiction. Your life is too important to wait. Take advantage of this time to make the changes in your life that you know you need to make to keep yourself safe.