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How Lockdowns Endanger Families – Alcohol Addiction On The Rise

Lockdowns Endanger Families – When COVID-19 took over the world and ceased life as we knew it, it became quite a struggle for us all. This ‘new normal’ became the cause for deteriorating mental health for a lot of people.

Being confined to their homes, and unable to meet their loved ones, many turned to substances to cope. Daily drinking spiked during the lockdown which led to addiction and relapses.

Reports suggest that approximately 65% of alcohol and drug treatment facilities saw the government cut down their funding or didn’t see a rise in funds from 2019 to 2022. Despite the rise of alcohol addiction to cope with the pandemic, there was no increase in funds.

57% of boards don’t have a strategy in place to support and protect the children of people with addiction. An estimate of 2.6 million children in the UK are living with at least one parent who drinks too much.

Lockdown had a significant impact on families of people with SUD (substance use disorder). When a family member is struggling with addiction, it can affect their friends and family in many ways.

They may be vulnerable to violence, intoxicated behaviour, or the stress caused by a loved one’s addiction. Children can also be in harm’s way if their primary caretaker is under the influence when looking after them.

Due to lockdown, these family members had nowhere to go and had to continue living in a physically and/or emotionally unsafe environment.

To prevent your family from experiencing trauma, It is always a good idea to consult a professional if you feel as if you may relapse.

Is Home Detoxification an Option?

Home detoxification is an option that can be explored to battle addiction when entering a rehab facility isn’t possible.

Detoxification is a medical association procedure that helps a person suffering from SUD (substance use disorder) to experience withdrawal symptoms at home and begin their road to recovery.

However, detoxing at home may be an unstable situation for family members. Possible issues can range from caregiving difficulty to threat of abuse. So, it is best to explore home detoxing options under professional care.

Dangers Of A Family Member With AUD

Living with a family member who is addicted to alcohol can make you vulnerable to potential trauma.

Relapse

If you’re a recovering addict, drinking during a lockdown can endanger your family. When a person with AUD relapses their behavioural patterns may drastically change. If they lash out during a craving or in a state of intoxication, there is potential for great harm. With the lockdown in place, it is tough to leave the situation for anyone.

If AUD victims have children, then it becomes highly traumatising for them to see a parent react angrily or violently.

Overdose and Death

Public Health England reports that alcohol consumption was on the rise during the Covid-19 lockdown. In 2020, alcohol addiction rose by 20% more than in 2019. There were also more alcohol-related deaths during the lockdown, becoming a source of loss and trauma for many who were already struggling during a global pandemic.

Alcohol dependency increases the chances of liver damage, which can be lethal. Getting admitted to a hospital for overdosing during a lockdown was tough because of the shortage of space and medical professionals due to the volume of Covid -19 patients.

Witnessing the death of a loved one due to alcohol poisoning or other alcohol-related complications was tough on many.

Deteriorating Mental Health

Someone suffering from AUD can affect the mental health of the whole family. The behavioural and emotional patterns can be damaging to everyone, especially children.

One parent dealing with addiction can take a toll on the other parent. This may disrupt the caregiving that the children receive.

Exhaustion, frustration, panic, tiredness, depression, etc. are the common symptoms related to people witnessing an AUD patient in the family.

Dangers Of Home Detoxification Without Professional Supervision

Safely going through the withdrawal process is the first step towards recovery. The detoxing period depends on various factors, like how long you’ve been dealing with addiction, the amount you drink, and whether you’ve attempted detoxing before.

Medical treatment during detoxification can help relieve withdrawal symptoms. Professionals can ensure that the patient can withstand the demanding phase of detoxing and has a smooth transition into the therapeutic part of rehab.

Detoxing at home without professional supervision can be dangerous for family members as they’re not medically equipped to handle the psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms. The irritability, cravings, and fluctuating moods can cause a tense atmosphere at home.

Summary

The rise of alcohol consumption during lockdown caused a major impact on family life.

Remember that:

#1 Your family is not medically equipped to help you with AUD.

#2 Children of parents with AUD are the most vulnerable, especially during the lockdown.

#3 The first step of saving your family from trauma is to get help as soon as you feel you might relapse.

#4 Detoxing at home must always be done under medical supervision since your family is not equipped to take care of the withdrawals you may experience while detoxing.

Many people manage to rebuild their lives after addiction and stay on the road to recovery. You can too.

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