SAVANNAH, G.a. (WSAV) – COVID-19 has negatively impacted many people nationwide. During these uncertain times, the stress from social isolation and other life changes has lead to an increase in substance abuse, according to Lionrock Recovery.
The new reality for those finding and maintaining their sobriety, is now through a computer screen. Most treatment centers have shifted to an online platform, which they say makes the recovery process more challenging.
“This year has been a year of loneliness and detachment from personal relationships. I think that has been the biggest struggle for everyone and for people in recovery, it has definitely been amplified,” says founder of Ardmore Recovery Center in Savannah, Jarrard Denny.
Addiction counselors say that due to the limitations of virtual support groups, recovering addicts have lost the sense of community they once had, ultimately leading to the worst.
“People are relapsing, people are dying, people are not doing well if they are not truly embracing what we have at this point as far as recovery resources versus what we had before,” explains drug and alcohol counselor, Ashley Blassingame.
Those in recovery say the switch to virtual support groups and online treatment, has made them feel less connected to the people that they’ve met during the process.
“For me, I am a people person. I like to see people in person. You can’t do the normal stuff like hug and even when there are in-person meetings once in a while, you have to maintain your distance and it’s nothing like what we had before,” says recovering addict, Randy T.
Sept. 22 is National Online Recovery Day. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, you can call 1-800-662-4357.