Addiction Recovery Blog

Covid is Causing Increased Drinking

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 16, 2020 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Positive Recovery, treatment program, covid

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While some common household products such as toilet paper and eggs have been a struggle to find in stores during COVID, there has been no shortage of alcohol. Liquor stores, which are considered an essential service, have been busier than ever, with bars and restaurants having been temporarily closed. However, despite the lack of social gatherings and outings to bars, people are still getting their alcohol fix, many even increasing their alcohol consumption since the start of the pandemic. The Nanos poll, commissioned by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), revealed that 21% of Canadians under the age of 54 say they have increased the amount of alcohol they drink while at home during the pandemic. Surveys have shown that since March, Americans have been buying larger quantities of cheaper alcohol; there has also been an increase in cannabis usage, as well as anti-anxiety medication like Xanax and Aderrall.

Reasons for the increase

Lack of a consistent routine
With many being unemployed, or working from home during the pandemic, alcohol is no longer reserved for weekends or after work, because weekdays and weekends blur together. You may find that you don’t have a certain time you need to wake up, or a time to be finished working, so there seems to be no reason not to indulge in a drink.

Boredom
You may be thinking that a mundane at-home activity will be more interesting if you had a glass of wine while you do it. While it may seem harmless at first, this is a dangerous habit to get into and can lead to excessive drinking.

Stress
The uncertainty of the future, and when things will go back to normal can naturally spark the feeling of stress and anxiety. Many use alcohol as a means of coping with the financial stresses, relationship stresses, and other anxieties that are now heightened by the pandemic.

Loneliness
Being stuck at home, with very little social interaction can take a toll on us as humans, and drinking can be used as an attempt to fill the void that can only be filled by relationship and community with others.

How much is too much?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men as being moderate drinking. It is important to realize, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, that heavy drinking lowers the immune system, which could make you more susceptible to contracting the virus, and make it more difficult to recover from illness.

What you can do instead of drinking

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Both Outpatient and Remote Addiction Treatment Options at Aquila Recovery

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 04, 2020 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Positive Recovery, treatment program, remote treatment

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At Aquila Recovery of Virginia, you have the choice of what kind of treatment for your drug or alcohol addiction that you would like to receive during these difficult COVID times.  We offer both in person outpatient and remote treatment options for you, to ensure your safety while still delivering the highest level of care possible for you or your family. 

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Can I Take Prescription Drugs During Recovery?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 12, 2020 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Positive Recovery, treatment program

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Some people in recovery from drug addiction may also suffer from other mental or physical medical issues. Of course, doctors might have prescribed medications to treat these other health concerns. If this describes you, you certainly should consider learning more about taking different types of prescription medication while you undergo treatment for drug addiction.

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A Look at Addiction Recovery Rates

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 09, 2020 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Positive Recovery

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Research into addiction rates is mixed, and long-term success rates vary greatly according to several factors. Availability of treatment programs, matching therapy type to individual needs, addressing mental health in addition to the addiction, and length of time can all play a critical role in in achieving positive outcomes in recovery. 

Based on current studies, here are some addiction recovery facts:

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If You're Defensive About Your Drinking, You Might Have a Problem

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 22, 2020 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Alcohol, treatment program

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Has anyone ever accused you have having an drinking problem? Perhaps it was a well-intentioned friend or colleague who made a “joke” that felt like it was directed at you, or a family member who outright called you an alcoholic?

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Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment Program

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 22, 2020 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Co-Occurring Disorders, treatment program

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Addiction treatment programs in the United States follow many of the same foundations and principals, but because there are not mandatory certifications, accreditations, or training you can’t expect that you’ll receive the same level of service or professionalism regardless of where you go for treatment.

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Is Drug Addiction the Same as Alcohol Addiction?

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 22, 2019 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Alcohol, About Aquila, Drugs, treatment program

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There is a common misperception that some addictions are more “serious” than others, that alcohol addiction isn't as serious as an addiction to heroin, crack, or methamphetamine. 

Common stereotypes paint images of alcoholics getting drunk at home and heroin addicts as engaged in criminal behavior, unemployed, homeless, or giving up on life. After all, alcohol is a legal and socially acceptable substance here in the U.S. Thus, it is perceived as less serious.

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The Relationship Between Alcohol and Stress

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 08, 2019 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Alcohol, About Aquila

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After a long day, there is nothing more relaxing than having a few drinks to help you unwind, right? But did you know that drinking can make you feel more stressed? 

Many people talk about having a drink to take the edge off when they are feeling stressed, but studies have shown that alcohol has the opposite effect. Alcohol increases the stress response by stimulating the production of the same hormones produced by the body when under stress. 

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How is Dual Diagnosis Treated?

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 10, 2019 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Co-Occurring Disorders, treatment program

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Substance abuse typically occurs along with other mental disorders. The co-occurrence of two or more disorders complicates recovery as one can make the other worse. If conditions are not treated together, then recovery is unlikely.  

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Dating in Recovery

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 27, 2019 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Sober Living, SMART Recovery, treatment program, Dating in Recovery

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There is an unwritten rule against dating during addiction recovery. Recovery programs commonly recommend abstaining from dating the first year. Recovery is all about healing and learning how to live without substance use, and that first year of sobriety can be a challenge. Navigating the dating scene or starting a new relationship while working through recovery is a recipe for disaster. 

Managing Emotions

At the beginning of a new relationship, we are inundated with emotions — thrilling highs and lows. Learning to manage emotions is one of the greatest challenges of recovery since drugs and alcohol are typically used to numb emotions.

Choosing a Partner

The rush or highs of dating can be intoxicating, literally. Those fresh out of recovery may be susceptible to that intoxicating feeling which can lead to substituting one addiction for another. Infatuation can be mistaken for love. Thus, someone could fall victim to the pitfalls of dating because they have not fully resolved their emotional issues of seeking things outside themselves to fill a void within.

Developing an unhealthy attachment to someone can also derail recovery efforts. Within that first year of recovery, one is still emotionally unstable and unhealthy.  If you are emotionally unhealthy, then you are likely to attach to other unhealthy people. People in recovery often look to others to rescue or fix them. It can be especially burdensome to put your emotional baggage on your partner, making forming a healthy relationship impossible. 

Once you have successfully completed treatment and waited a year, you will have a better chance of picking the right partner.  Recovery programs help people to develop coping skills and to seek comfort within themselves rather than with drugs or relationships.

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