In the face of such an epidemic like COVID-19, it is easy for us to begin to lose ground with battles that we were fighting in our society before the virus starting taking its toll. People who battle addictions are becoming more and more marginalized and getting less and less attention as our country is being forced to shift focus on fighting the spread of Corona Virus. While its understandable that our government has to invest attention and resources in efforts to curve the COVID-19 outbreak, we must also keep in mind that overdose deaths due to substance abuse are still happening on a much larger scale than deaths caused by Corona Virus.
This topic is disussed on the website of the NIDB (National Institute on Drug Abuse) / ACP –
“Persons with SUD (substance use disorder) are already marginalized and underserved by health care services, largely because of stigma. Much of this stigma is based on the erroneous but persistent belief—widespread even among health care workers—that addiction is the result of weak character and poor choices, whereas science has clearly shown it to be a disorder arising from alterations in brain circuitry. When hospitals are pushed to their capacity, there is added danger of persons with SUD being deprioritized for care if they present with COVID-19 symptoms. It is incumbent on all health care workers to not discriminate against patients with SUD and to treat these individuals with compassion and dignity as they would any others.”
With “stay at home orders”, “social distancing” and copious amounts of sanitizing, it is safe to say that we are all somewhat in unchartered territory, as it pertains to this type of epidemic. However we must do all that we can to not loose ground on progress we have made with battles like addiction. This is why Stones River Recovery has continued to remain in full operation all while being sensitive to the concerns of our clients as it pertains to the spread of COVID-19. We have educated our staff on the spread of the virus, implemented a safe distance policy for all residents, remained quarantined to the campus and mandating all persons coming on campus to systematically sterilize themselves before coming into contact with anyone on campus.
Measures like this must be taken so that people who struggle with addictions will not be tempted to postpone the treatment of addiction and cause us to lose any more friends and family members. So if you know someone who continues to struggle with addiction, please let them know that Stones River Recovery is here, open and operating just like we have for the past decade. You are loved by a God that sees you and desperately wants to help you.