Finding Rehab During COVID-19
- March 19, 2021
Finding rehab on a regular day can be overwhelming, especially if you do not know what to look for. Finding rehab during COVID-19 can be even more overwhelming, which is why it is helpful to have an idea of what to ask about.
While the major public health focus during the last year has been COVID-19, the overdose epidemic that existed before this pandemic continues to plague Americans. The CDC reports an overall increase in overdose deaths since April 2020 and based on the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), there has been an estimated 17.59% increase in suspected overdoses after the stay-at-home orders were enacted. Unfortunately some of the underlying factors that contribute to substance use disorder, such as stress and anxiety, are amplified due to the pandemic and may trigger those with mental health conditions or addiction to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. Further, because of stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements, many people in recovery have been isolated or cut off from their support networks leading to increased rates of relapse as well.
If you or a loved one is in search of addiction treatment during these unprecedented times, here are some considerations when searching for the right treatment center in addition to the normal standards and expectations of a treatment center.
Finding Rehab During COVID-19
When evaluating the options for rehab during COVID-19, it is important to consider what types of pre-admissions screening a treatment center is doing in order to identify potential COVID-19 cases in prospective patients. It is also important to know what onsite screening measures, what surveillance programs are in place, and what mitigation initiatives and prevention protocols are being implemented to ensure the safety of current patients as well as staff. Some questions to ask during an initial phone assessment are:
- What type of screening and testing requirements do you have for incoming patients?
- What types of mitigation measures (social distancing more than six feet, requirements of staff and patients to wear masks or coverings, daily temperature checks, etc.) are in place?
- What is the visitor policy and what testing is required?
- What percentage of the staff are working on the campus of the treatment center?
- What happens if there is a patient or staff member that tests positive?
- What additional virtual options do I have?
A treatment center should conduct a thorough virtual assessment of a client prior to admitting them to avoid unnecessary travel and exposure for the client. Additionally, the treatment center should be equipped to offer all non-essential in-person services via remote or virtual alternatives. Since addiction and recovery services require ongoing therapeutic support in many instances, it is important that a treatment center offers different alternatives for their patients and alumni to continue their recovery. This can be in the form of telehealth therapy sessions, online support group meetings, and virtual outpatient appointments. By using these forms of technology to treat patients, the treatment center is more likely able to support a person once they leave inpatient treatment during the pandemic as well.
Gathering More Information
Another important question for the prospective patient to ask, is whether the treatment center they are considering is adhering to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines as it pertains to COVID-19 and healthcare facilities. These guidelines represent the most up to date, scientifically supported advice for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Staff and patients of the treatment center should be aware of the proper precautions and should be taking COVID-19 seriously.
Staff and patients should be screened and monitored for COVID-19 symptoms on a daily basis so that any potential cases can be identified as quickly as possible with minimal potential for spread. This includes symptom checks and screening for fevers of 99.5 or higher. Staff should also check for fevers on their days off from work as well and report any new symptoms or fevers immediately. In addition to the classic symptoms, staff should also be aware of the non-respiratory manifestations of COVID-19 and err on the side of caution when clients report any symptoms. Unfortunately since some of the non-respiratory symptoms may overlap with symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal (i.e. nausea, diarrhea, headaches, chills, body aches) it is important that staff are vigilant about monitoring symptoms and changes to a client’s overall status.
The number of visitors and nonessential personnel should also be minimized as much as possible. As families are an important part of the overall treatment process, virtual options for visitors and therapy sessions can offer safe alternatives to in-person visitation.
Addiction Treatment in California
If you suspect someone may have a problem with substance or alcohol use or you are concerned about your own substance or alcohol use, Asana Recovery can help. Addiction is a life-threatening disease and will not wait for COVID-19 cases to dissipate. Thus, it is important that if you or a loved one needs help from addiction, that you get rehab during COVID-19 without further delay. Contact Asana Recovery or give us a call today at 949-763-3440. Our trained professionals will walk you through the admissions process and make sure all of your questions are answered. The first step is admitting you need help, and is often the hardest. Once you take that first step, there will be a team on your side to help you be successful in your new future.