COVID-19 and Addiction – The Importance of Personal Responsibility
Perhaps at no time in recent history has it been more important to take responsibility for our own actions. Governments, businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes across the world are counting on us to wash our hands, not touch our faces, not shake hands, cover our coughs and sneezes with a tissue or upper arms and practice social distancing. We also need to keep ourselves clean, disinfect our environments and stay home from work.
Adhering to these measures is a matter of life or death for a great many. Adhering to them is vital to ensure that society can come back at some point, mitigating what could be immeasurable financial hardship for millions in this country and billions around the world.
Though current evidence indicates most people with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms, the elderly and those with
pre-existing conditions like COPD, asthma, heart problems and autoimmune disorders are at far greater risk. No sane person would ever knowingly pass this virus on to anyone, let alone someone at greater risk.
For those in active drug and alcohol addiction, this is a very dangerous time – not only for themselves but also for other people. The brain of someone in active addiction is malfunctioning. Areas of the brain responsible for judgment are largely blocked. The primitive areas of the brain are running the show and crave ever more quantities of addictive substances, regardless of the consequences to themselves or anyone else. There is a great tendency for those in active addiction to blame others for their addiction and the problems created largely by their addiction. Of course, most of this is caused by drug-induced thinking in a brain that is temporarily insane and scrambled.
As a result, people in active addiction tend to act in an incredibly irresponsible and selfish manner, which negatively impacts them, their loved ones and potentially anyone around them. Today, these traits may have far greater consequences. People in active addiction often put themselves in very unsanitary environments and have little if any regard for personal hygiene or any sort of social distancing. As a result, they are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
Given that the suffering addict often has little regard for where they go or who they come in contact with, once infected they may become carriers of this virus, dangerously spreading it through drug- hazed journeys. This may result in not only their hospitalization for the virus but hospitalization for many others at a time when the hospitals are being overrun with actual or suspected COVID-19 infection.
Personal responsibility a must!
Additionally, in these incredibly stressful times, many in recovery from addiction are relapsing and those in active addiction are spiraling out of control. The chances of an overdose are greatly increasing. This is no time to have ER and hospital space occupied by the ramifications of active addiction.
Unlike most diseases, drug and alcohol addiction can only be treated with an element of personal responsibility. There are no medications to make it go away or successfully keep it at bay for any real length of time. The person must take personal responsibility, admit they have a problem and agree to get the help they need. Now more than ever, we implore those in recovery to do all they can to help themselves. We also implore those in active addiction to get the help they need in a private or government treatment facility. We ask this to not only help themselves but also their loved ones. We ask this to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the consumption of desperately needed ER and hospital space and the supplies needed for those suffering with COVID-19.
Most people in recovery have found great freedom in taking personal responsibility for their addiction and their lives. They have ceased blaming people. They have had an epiphany. They have realized that if everything truly was everyone else’s fault, they’d be doomed. Thankfully, they have recognized that they are largely to blame for the negative things that have occurred in their lives as a result of their addiction and have found tremendous freedom in accepting responsibility for their actions and their lives.
We remain hopeful that those in recovery from addiction will double down in their efforts to stay in recovery, that they have a moment of clarity and make a decision to get the help they need. It is our sincere hope that the drug epidemic will not exacerbate the COVID-19 pandemic. We are here to help.
The importance of personal responsibility for those with and without addiction has probably never been greater.