Roughly over 2 million people succumb to alcohol-related deaths every year. As graphic and dire as these statistics are, alcohol addiction rates are continually rising amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, with 25% percent and 21% increase in Canadians between the ages of 35-54 and 18-34, respectively. Some alcohol rehab facilities offering alcohol treatment programs.
At this age of social distancing, individuals are replacing almost everything in their daily life with excessive alcohol intake, slowly turning seasonal drinkers into alcohol addicts. As Canadians often indulge in the occasional drink up mostly during social functions, the closure of most recreational facilities and the break from work has led many people to boredom and the need to replace functional habits into something else; drinking.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
The first step towards any addiction treatment is identifying the signs of abuse. In alcohol addiction, recognizing warning signs that classify an individual as a risk factor is dependent on certain variables, which might cause physical, social, and mental repercussions. Most alcohol addicts tend to choose alcohol over their social connections such as family and friends, neglect social circles and want to indulge in alcohol regardless of the pain and disappointment that they may experience. As a result, addicts end up having financial constraints as they spend a lot of money on purchasing alcohol, with some enrolling in treatment centers.
Some more symptoms for alcohol addiction are withdrawal symptoms as a result of not consuming alcohol, lack of alcohol control, inability to do functional responsibilities such as attending work or school, and drinking alcohol even when it is detrimental to the body.
Finding Quality Addiction Care
In this pandemic era, struggling alcoholics may find it difficult to continue with their sobriety and opt to relapse due to physical distancing, feelings of hopelessness, panic, and lack of access to alcohol support groups.
Finding quality addiction care may be a challenge, especially if an individual requires the physical presence of a healthcare professional, but that does not mean there aren’t other alternate measures to get professional treatment. The necessity and popularity of online platforms which provide avenues for health workers and therapists to offer telemedicine are readily available in Canada.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), telehealth service treatment can be readily accessed online through phone calls, video conferencing, and internet-based tools such as meditation books and tracking applications. This virtual access has dramatically revolutionized the health system as it seldom requires physical appointments and office visits, and provides avenues for consulting and aftercare follow up. Therapists and doctors are adopting telehealth services and offering counselling and guidance on addiction treatments in online platforms as a means to curb the growing alcoholism rates in the country.
Licensed health professionals and counsellors use mobile apps and web support systems to engage in recovery coaching and monitor patients against relapse. Sufficient treatment plans are then administered depending on the individual. Overall, treatment hotlines available in Canada to get questions regarding substance abuse and mental health are also available.
Finding mutual support groups for alcohol addiction treatment can be beneficial during this time. This can is mostly by accessing websites, podcasts, live channels, and social media support, which offer the audience for assistance and information about addiction treatment.
Non-conventional methods of treatment, such as hypnotherapy and virtual reality therapy, are other ways for alcohol addiction treatment. For instance, online journals for mind and body regulation that highlight factors in psychiatry and cognitive science are available on recommended sites. These methods, coupled with other forms of treatment, can help curb alcohol addiction.
Adopting lifestyle changes during this time and planning your day will also help prevent addiction to alcohol. Making sure days are laden with activities ranging from cleaning, exercising, trying out new things are among a few, are ways to distract oneself from alcohol intake.
Lastly, it is paramount that persons dealing with alcohol addiction garner support from family and friends during this time, as it helps them become aware of the risk factors associated with their behaviour and offer support. Assisting them in searching for strategies and personalized online programs is one way to be supportive.
With the above suggestions on the avenues of acquiring treatment for alcohol addiction, consider the pointers below when seeking out telemedicine:
- Ensure your insurance plan covers telehealth services.
- Call or email to book an appointment in advance to ensure the availability of your preferred health care professional.
- Find out whether there are free or paying support groups from your therapist or program director.
- Search for programs which are verified and offer evidence of previous work research for trusted and quality care
- Search for addiction support groups online by accessing the NIAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator, which helps in tracking available sites with addiction treatment videos, podcasts, and groups in your area.