A new survey of former people with drug and alcohol addiction has revealed that the majority of feelings towards life in lockdown are those of ‘calm’ ‘positive’ and ‘peaceful’ and that the global pandemic is not an excuse to relapse back into drugs and alcohol.
The survey, hosted by leading addiction treatment firm UKAT, asked 150 former clients who have recently left one of their rehabs how they’re coping with the coronavirus crisis.
The results reveal that for the majority of those who suffered from addiction, life in lockdown has been overwhelmingly more positive than negative, proving that those in recovery from addiction are well-equipped from their time in rehab with the tools needed to get through times of crisis.
The majority of respondents (67.7%) said that the coronavirus crisis was not making it harder to stay in recovery from addiction, kiboshing assumptions that people with addiction will use any excuse possible to relapse.
Clients were also asked about their mental health during this time, in particular, if they’d experienced an attack of fear, anxiety or panic during the crisis. Over half of respondents (52.8%) answered no.
Respondents were also asked to vote on how lockdown made them feel. The vast majority of votes were cast for ‘calm’ (48%), followed by ‘positive’ at 44.1% of the votes and ‘peaceful’ with 37.8% of the votes.
But some were feeling the strain of lockdown: 34.6% of votes were cast for lockdown making those in recovery ‘anxious’, 26% voted ‘angry’, 23.6% described lockdown as making them feel ‘vulnerable’ and sadly 17.3% of votes showed that respondents felt ‘scared’.
Of the 150 surveyed, 18 confessed that they had in fact relapsed within the last 3 months. When asked why they felt they had relapsed, the majority of votes were cast for ‘not applying recovery tools consistently enough’, and ‘anxiety about the coronavirus crisis’, closely followed by ‘being unable to attend face to face support programmes’ and ‘not enough time in treatment’.
These people are now receiving tailored and daily support from the UKAT Team to ensure the appropriate steps are taken which will get the client back on the path to recovery from addiction.
Nuno Albuquerque, Group Treatment Lead at UKAT explains the importance of ‘checking-in’ with clients;
‘Reaching out to clients on a regular basis during a crisis like the one the world has just endured is more important than words can describe. We supported them when they were at their rock bottom and we continue to support and equip them with the mental tools they need to face and conquer hurdles and triggers that life will inevitably throw at them.
‘It is so heartwarming to see that for the majority, the treatment they received at one of our rehabs has kept them on the path to recovery from addiction, even during the most difficult of times.”
As the country went into lockdown, the team at UKAT launched, for the first time ever, online aftercare support groups for those who had left treatment, in place of face to face group meetings similar to AA, NA, etc. These sessions offered clients structure, therapy and a safe space to reflect on their feelings with other people in recovery in their local community.
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