The Epidemic within the Pandemic

The Epidemic within the Pandemic

Buried on an inside page, the article was barely noticeable.

When a pandemic takes over, there’s no space for other news.

The headline on p.4 read: “Virus not sole factor for rise in US deaths.”  Listed among the possible causes were falls, certain types of accidents around the house, and drug overdoses.

Accurate data typically lags behind reporting.  Submission of deaths by overdose takes months or more to portray a precise picture.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 has set the stage to prompt an upsurge in deaths by opioids, synthetic drugs and other illicit substances.

And no surprise.

With forced isolation, uncertainty about the future, and unrelenting fear, those suffering from addiction may fail in their sobriety.  Isolated from the close friendship and routine of their recovery programs can set up a dangerous path, especially in someone new to recovery.

The tiny news story troubles me.  It becomes intensely personal.  I see the mom entering her daughter’s bedroom, finding thin sheets of foil littering the bedroom floor, wondering what it means, afraid to ask her child, afraid what the next words will reveal.   Or I hear the father frantic over a son’s disappearance from the halfway house he thought was the solution.

Shame, isolation and guilt consume the parents, just as they do their child.  And it only makes it worse.

There is little I can do to stop this pandemic  –  or the epidemic within.

But I can offer my experience and hope for families suffering from addiction.  Recovery is possible, both for them and for their loved ones.

Even within a pandemic.

2 Replies to “The Epidemic within the Pandemic”

  1. So true! You nailed it. Thank you again as always, your wise and helpful words of experience and hope.