Empty bottles of alcohol

Coronavirus causing rise in drug, alcohol relapses

Coronavirus causing rise in drug, alcohol relapses among people in recovery, expert says

As the nation gets more stringent about non-essential travel and bans on group gatherings to slow the spread of coronavirus, one expert says the pandemic may result in an unintended rise in drug and alcohol relapses among those who are in recovery.

“Yes, we are already starting to see an increase in relapses,” Dayry Hulkow, M.S., a primary therapist at Arete Recovery, a Delphi Behavioral Health Group facility, told Fox News.

Hulkow did not indicate how many relapses she had seen among clients, but according to the American Addiction Center, over 19.7 million Americans aged 12 and older battled a substance use disorder in 2017. About 74 percent of those individuals reported an alcohol use disorder, while 38 percent reported an illicit drug use disorder. Of those individuals, 8.5 million reported a mental health disorder in addition to a substance use disorder.

Mental health professionals have recently been speaking out about different ways to cope with isolation and anxiety regarding COVID-19, which can also act as triggers for those in recovery, especially when coupled with canceled Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings.

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