For many people in the treatment industry, the beginning days of the COVID-19 shutdowns may have been chaotic. Some centers were unable to cope with increased requirements and inadequate staffing.
Sadly, many addiction services centers were forced to shutter, leaving clients in need. Others kept their doors closed to new clients for a time.
Treatment in Ithaca & Tomkins County NY As An Example
In Ithaca County and Thompson County, the addiction epidemic rages on even as neighbors try to keep the COVID-19 epidemic curve flattened. Since the pandemic began, providers made a lot of adjustments. Most facilities have learned to adapt and continue to serve.
For now, telehealth appointment serves their purposes, but people on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) will still often need to check-in and collect their meds or get shots in-person.
Some addiction services have actually found some hidden benefits to using telehealth. For one thing, people who want in-person treatment can still sometimes get the services they need, even if they live far from urban areas.
People in isolated areas with less access to resources such as transportation now can conduct most of their treatment over the computer. This transformation is a significant relief for people who have been stuck on waitlists for treatment or unable to find a spot inpatient.
The telehealth aspect has helped so much that many treatment centers in Ithaca think they should continue to use it.
Addiction During the Pandemic
Addiction doesn’t care about what year it is, who is President, or whether there is a pandemic happening in the world.
During COVID-19, people who have substance use disorders face more stress and barriers to treatment access than before. There has been a profound uptick in overdose deaths across America. Many overdoses have involved fentanyl.
Luckily, people adapt quickly. AA meetings are meeting online. Many treatment centers are providing help online as well. Inpatient treatment centers still take clients in many places. New clients usually isolate for the first two weeks.
There are still many addiction services available to people who need them. If you or a loved one is searching for help, it’s still available. Call your local mental health services agency to find out what options are available. Insurance will still usually pay for the treatment services you need.