As the coronavirus pandemic continues, shut down orders remain intact due to safety concerns. This is leaving millions of people unemployed and isolated from their family and friends. While many people are left with feelings of anxiety, the pandemic is targeting addicts in recovery the hardest.
For many, treatment and social support systems are highly disrupted. As millions are told to stay home and isolate, addicts in recovery may be experiencing heightened feelings of anxiety, loneliness, emotional distress, or simply just boredom. This has been shown to increase drug and alcohol usage, as well as demonstrate an increase in overdose deaths due to isolation. According to primary care doctor, Peter Grinspoon (M.D) from Massachusetts “addiction is a disease of isolation.” It is important to look out for signs of relapse during this period of isolation.

Signs of Relapse​

According to the article “COVID-19 is Causing People to Relapse” by Hayley Hudson, common signs to look out for in relapse for you or someone you know include:

 Poor eating habits

 Poor sleeping habits

 Declining hygiene

 Talking to past friends who continue to use drug or alcohol products

 Constant lying

 Bottling up your emotions

 Skipping or avoiding support meetings

Preventive Methods​

In order to prevent relapse from occurring, addicts in recovery must simply take care of their bodies. We recommend getting a proper amount of sleep each night (7-9 hours for adults), exercising, eating a healthy diet, and virtually keeping in touch with your friends and family.

It is also important to create a schedule or routine to prevent the feeling of wanting to use drug or alcohol products. Some things to spend time doing may include:


 Reading books



 Journaling thoughts and feelings

 Completing projects

 Staying virtually connected with friends and families, or spending time with people in

your household


While the uncertainty of the pandemic continues, it is important to take care of you and your body. Instead of stressing about the pandemic, use this time for self-growth and learn something new. Though we are creating physical distance between one another, be sure to continue to socialize with friends, family, and support groups online in order to get the help you need. Don’t be afraid to reach out and stay safe.


Peter Grinspoon, M. (2020, May 20). A tale of two epidemics: When COVID-19 and opioid
addiction collide.
Retrieved July 22, 2020, from
Hudson, H. (2020, June 18). COVID-19 is Causing People to Relapse. Retrieved July 22, 2020,


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