Everything seems to be shutting down and people are locking down as the Coronavirus spreads and government officials look to contain the disease. You can’t argue with the cautious methods being taken. But for individuals who struggle with, or recently have obtained sobriety from addictive behaviors, being confided at home could increase the risk for relapse. Why? Several reasons.
Anxiety Regarding The Unknown
Face it, some people are worried, and others are out-right scared regarding the current situation. No one knows how long this crisis will last and what its impact will be not only regarding health, but also school, work and finances. These concerns most certainly could lead individuals to withdraw into the dark world of addiction to evade their worries.
Distraction from the Negative News Coverage
It’s Coronavirus 24-7 with wall-to-wall coverage that is bombarding us. All of the negativity at some point, will lead many individuals to tune out the media coverage and replace it with something that will soothe and stimulate, such as alcohol, drugs, food, on-line gamble or pornography.
Escape From Boredom
This of course is the most obvious rationale for someone during this crisis to escape back into additive behaviors. Most people are not accustomed to sitting at home without uninterrupted periods of work and school. Losing the routine of going to work, school or engaging in social activities, is going to cause individuals to lack structure, which is essential for long-term recovery.
Relapse Prevention Tools
What is important during this unprecedented time is for those in recovery to be mindful that these emotionally trying circumstances could increase the risk of wanting to distract using addictive measures. And with this insight, everyone should develop a strategy to help them deal with emotional triggers and temptations. This may include:
- Participating in online and telephone support groups
- Staying in contact with your sponsor or support team via electronic mediums
- Developing a temporary structure and routine that will help pass the time
- Proactively preparing an escape plan when temptations seems to become overwhelming
- Spending quiet time in prayer and reflecting each morning on things that you are grateful for instead of focusing on the negativity surrounding us.
This indeed may be a very challenging time for many who are recovering from addictions including alcohol, drugs, smoking, eating, binge watching, etc. But it doesn’t mean you are facing certain failure. If you maintain your focus and create a new structure to adapt to the current situation you can find yourself beating the odds and defeating lust.