In the past three months, the whole world has been on high alert. Social isolation, job loss, and less access to mental health assistance have set the world up for a lot of pain. Experts agree that mental health problems and addiction disorders are going to kill many people this year. Some estimates are up to 150,000 deaths “of despair” in 2020 alone.
Addiction Is Invisible Right Now
For many people in isolation, few people see how they are actually doing. People who are prone to abuse drugs and have access to them may end up relapsing due to loneliness, fear, and other emotions.
Others may develop an addiction to help them cope with the realities of our “new normal.” It can be especially challenging to deal with life for people who have mental health disorders. Many people have lost access to their family, friends, and therapists. With funding cuts and physical buildings closing, it may be a survival skill to help people who are clinically depressed or suffering other mental health issues.
Now that most areas in the country are opening their doors in some capacity, people will see that something is wrong with their loved ones.
Treatment Funding Needs Help
Unfortunately, a surge in need for services is going to cause people to fall between the cracks. Facilities are closing, not opening, and the federal government has all but abandoned their fight against the opioid epidemic, leaving efforts to the sorely under-funded states.
While many people in recovery have managed to keep going, dealing with online 12-step meetings and therapy sessions is a challenge. Many people get frustrated with the lack of human connection (and sometimes with the technology itself.)
On top of this, treatment centers are struggling to keep their staff, pay for personal protective equipment, and keep protocols in place to help their clients stay safe.
One of the most extensive treatment centers in the US, American Addiction Centers, has filed for bankruptcy so they can restructure. Other treatment centers have close their doors and will not return. Clients need to have suitable insurance that pays most of the bill to guarantee a spot with a treatment center. However, many mental health advocates are pushing Congress to help their clients, as well. Some treatment centers are appealing directly to their home state.