Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Put Me At Risk for Addiction?

When we’re at risk for addiction, we’re often the last people to actually realize it or admit it to ourselves. This is generally either because we simply don’t want to face what comes next or because we refuse to see ourselves as the kind of people that can fall victim to alcohol and drug dependency. We like to think that we have our feet under us; that we have our communities, lives and futures firmly in place and a sense of how to navigate the world.

The seismic cultural and behavioral shifts forced by the COVID-19 pandemic have compelled us all to take another look at the stability and security of our lives while we cope with an increasingly uncertain future. Many have been doing their coping with drugs and alcohol, a behavior that very commonly leads to addiction.

If you’ve been drinking and using prescription or illicit drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic to cope with the stress and uncertainty, it’s time to ask yourself: “Am I at risk for addiction?”

Signs That You May Be at Risk for Addiction to Drugs or Alcohol

  • You’re drinking alone during the day to cope with stress, depression and anxiety.
  • You’re neglecting work and your social life to drink or use by yourself.
  • You’re lying to friends and family about how much you drink and whether you use drugs.
  • You’re looking forward to moments when you can drink or use.
  • You’re using your prescriptions to self-medicate rather than treat the actual condition for which they were prescribed.
  • You’re experiencing physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
  • You’re not sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • You can’t imagine getting through the day without drinking or using.
  • You keep drinking or using even through you tell yourself you’re not going to.
  • You get mad or irritated when someone tells you you’re drinking or using too much.

These are just a few of the signs that you may be at risk. Maybe you’re facing a DUI charge or have completely changed social circles to associate with people who drink and use drugs. Addiction risk looks different for everyone, and it’s important to look at your behavior honestly when answering this question.

I Am at Risk for Addiction…Now What?

Start going to meetings. Even if you don’t think you’re “there yet”, your substance use is at least somewhat out of your control, and it’s time to seek help from others. Lean on trusted family and friends to help you, and start taking steps to build an active and healthy life that doesn’t involve alcohol or drug use. Be honest with your friends and family and ask someone to help you look for a treatment program that best fits your care needs and lifestyle.

It can be a jarring revelation to realize that you need help for substance abuse and are at risk for addiction; but you’re not alone. Recovery Unplugged offers all types of treatment programs to help reclaim your life and future. Don’t let COVID-19 turn you into an addiction statistic.