Is it Safe to go to Treatment during the COVID-19 Crisis?

Right now is an unprecedented and trying time for many. With social-distancing being the number one recommended precaution against the Corona virus, it can be difficult to justify entering a treatment facility even when you know you are in need of help. It can be hard to know what to do. When the country is in a health crisis, and you find yourself in crisis as well, how do you decide on the best course of action?
There are a number of factors to consider, for yourself as well as for others;
Are you struggling with Alcohol or Benzodiazepine?
The effects caused by withdrawing from either of these substances can result in seizures and can be deadly. Attempting to discontinue using these substances on your own can prove fatal. It is not recommended to abruptly stop using or to self-detox regardless of social-distancing practices. Seeking professional assistance from a facility that can offer you 24/7 medical supervision is a must.
Have you recently overdosed?
If you have overdosed while using any substance, it is recommended that you seek immediate medical attention. Entering a facility that can offer 24/7 medical supervision is always recommended; as is going to the ER, seeing your PCP, or calling 911. This is a serious and life-threatening side effect of substance abuse and should be treated as such regardless of social-distancing recommendations.
Does the facility you are choosing take precautionary measures/complete prescreening for the virus?
Ask the facility if they are screening clients for the COVID-19 virus prior to admission. Often, facilities will ask a series of questions prior to admitting a client (have you been to an infected area? Have you been in contact with an infected person? Are you feeling symptoms? Etc.), facilities will also check client’s temperature and overall well-being prior to admitting them.
Does the facility you are choosing have a plan in place?
Ask the facility you are looking into what their isolation or quarantine plan is in the event that someone in the building contracts the virus. A reputable facility will be taking this seriously, and it is important to take it seriously for yourself and others as well. Ask if they have had any known cases of a client having the virus while under their care. Ask how they are taking care of their staff as well.
How are you feeling?
Are you feeling flu-like symptoms? Have you been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus? If that is the case, your best option would be to first seek help through a hospital. It will be just as important for you to get tested and to treat the symptoms of COVID-19 as it will be to address your struggle with substance abuse. A hospital or ER can address both temporarily. It is equally as important for each individual to take precautionary measures as it is each facility. Inpatient treatment is the best course of action when it comes to substance abuse, and a hospital will not be able to offer you 30 days of substance abuse treatment, but if you think you have contracted the Corona virus the ER is recommended prior to potentially admitting to a treatment facility. At a time like this we must look out for others as well as ourselves.

Social-distancing and cleanliness are top priorities in every community at the moment. Your health and well-being, and the health of others, take priority as well. Do not let the Corona virus stop you from getting help. Be smart about what course of action you choose. COVID-19 is serious, and so is substance abuse. We are all helping each other through both together.
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