The pandemic has affected us all. Some of us have children at home learning virtually. Some of us have jobs that have changed dramatically. Some of us are struggling to keep our connection with communities and friends.  

Mental health experts have warned about the psychological effect of the pandemic and expressed concerns about an increase in addiction to alcohol and drugs — including a resurgence in opioid use.

In mid-August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed the results of a survey on the psychological and emotional impact of the pandemic and social isolation. They found that people from all walks of life are reporting an increase in mental health symptoms and substance abuse.

Additionally, the lockdown and social distancing have made it more difficult for those with substance abuse concerns to access resources and get support. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there are still many ways to get help.

  • Contact your healthcare provider. Talking to your doctor is a great first step in getting connected to the right resources. 
  • Join a virtual meeting. While recovery and support programs are mostly not able to meet in person, you can still attend a meeting online. The upside of virtual meetings is that you can attend any location, at any time that works for you, and can even try out different meetings to see which one fits you best. For a list of recovery programs visit our Winter Support page.
  • Talk to trusted friends and family. Let people you trust know what you are facing and that you need some support — do this in addition to talking to your doctor and/or joining a program. Having other people check in helps keep us accountable and remind us of why we want to stay clear of drugs and alcohol. 
  • Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357): Not ready to talk to friends or family, but need help? You can call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This National Helpline operated by findtreatment.gov is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing substance use disorders. They also provide referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

There are many services available to you as part your Sound Health benefits. Doctors and mental health professionals may prescribe you certain medications or refer you to additional treatment options.

Please remember: if you’re having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

To find out more about your benefits and the services and wellness programs through Sound Support that are available to you, click here.

Sources: www.cdc.gov, www.findtreatment.gov