How Coronavirus Lockdown Affects Alcoholics And Drug Addicts
Yes. We have heard this over and over in the last few days—there is a lockdown and people are forced to stay indoors, that is if they want to get out of this alive. Coronavirus has brought the entire world to a standstill affecting normal life.
Yes. We have heard this over and over in the last few days—there is a lockdown and people are forced to stay indoors, that is if they want to get out of this alive. Coronavirus has brought the entire world to a standstill affecting normal life. While a few sectors have asked its employees to work from home, youngsters are having a great time binge-watching Netflix. On the other hand, there are celebrities who have literally spammed their instagram with workout videos and pictures of them doing household chores for the first time. Environmentalists and nature lovers are the happiest sharing pictures of deer who just walked out of the wild to laze around on a road which would otherwise been filled with vehicles with no place for even pedestrians to walk. Anyway, while the world is moving on, although at a snail's pace, there is another section of people who are finding it difficult to handle this lockdown.
Now, pay attention to every word hereafter.
We know that most parts of the world have shut stores and stopped supply of alcohol. In countries like India, it's completely dry, which means access to alcohol is next to impossible unless you have stocked up earlier itself or you have a bar at home. Now, there is so much of information regarding coronavirus, I always look for positive news. But whether I like it or not, I end up stumbling upon something distressing.
Sample these incidents...
Two young men in Kerala committed suicide after being frustrated over not being able to find alcohol due to the coronavirus lockdown. In Karnataka, there were two more similar cases of suicide over the same reason. Now, if you thought the reason was silly enough for all these who ended their lives, here's a reality check.
It is a known fact that let alone substance abuse and alcoholism, even kicking the butt (cigarettes) is no easy feat to achieve. It requires a lot of will power and doesn't happen overnight simply because those suffering from addiction any of these face withdrawal symptoms. Bouts of headaches, vomiting, body ache, loss of appetite and sleeplessness are only few of the many withdrawal symptoms a person trying to get rid of a habit goes through. Giving up a habit must be planned and needs ample time. There is a step by step approach. Any Alcoholic Anonymous or rehab will do the same. They reduce the quantity of the substance and eventually make it nil.
So the pandemic Covid19 has become a huge challenge for those who are addicted or those on the path to recovery. Moreover, social distancing for the fear of contracting the corona virus infection has not made life any easier. Most people who use drugs or consume alcohol are used to a social group which minimise the impact it has on his/her mental health. Now, with even meetings being cut off, it is as if their lifeline is broken.
And those seeking counselling from psychiatrists for mental health too are finding it difficult with online sessions not providing them the comfort they got during a face-to-face therapy.
If you thought that making addicts abstain from substance use or alcohol would help them give up their habit altogether, then it's a big illusion. Withdrawal symptoms overpower them and there are far reaching consequences considering how fragile their body and mind is. Isolation or quarantine for these people just doesn't work.
The government must set up a committee of experts and mental health specialists to come up with a possible solution to keeping these people sane till the end of the lockdown period because besides the coronavirus, these people have their own battles too.