Getting Help for Depression and Addiction Related to COVID-19 From Dual Diagnosis Rehab
Depression is the most common co-occurring mental illness, and it affects millions of people. The prevalence of depression and addiction is suspected of having increased due to the Coronavirus and tensions of 2020. For people in recovery, even after dual diagnosis rehab, the impact of quarantines, job loss, and uncertainty have worsened the symptoms of depression and addiction.
As the year trudges on with limited optimistic outcomes soon, the temptation to relapse and feelings of hopelessness previously managed through support groups and therapy have strengthened due to limited access. To help combat the effects and potential harm of COVID-19, it is important to know that those suffering are not alone. Instead, there remains plenty of reasons to keep pushing forward, despite the difficulty of the present.
How Has COVID-19 Affected Addiction Rates?
It is still too early to definitively say how many individuals have experienced worsening addictions, relapsed, or developed a new substance use disorder because of COVID-19 depression and anxiety. However, the limited data available suggests that people with substance abuse problems may be at a higher risk of contracting the Coronavirus. And if they contract Coronavirus, they may also experience more severe symptoms if they get sick.
A study funded by the National Health Institute used electronic health records to evaluate the percentage of U.S. patients who had a substance use disorder and contracted the Coronavirus. The results found that 10.3 percent of the study’s population had a substance abuse disorder, and those individuals accounted for 15.6 percent of COVID-19 cases. 
People with a substance abuse disorder typically have weakened immune systems. This is often accompanied by heart and lung complications, which worsen the effects of the Coronavirus on the body. Addiction to drugs and alcohol has always been dangerous. However, struggling with substance abuse today has become even more life-threatening.
From a psychological perspective, people face greater challenges surrounding cravings, relapse, and substance abuse. With so much time alone and socially distanced, there is less ability to change one’s environment and stay connected to outside sources. Especially sources that promote wellness and sobriety.
Depression and COVID-19
In a CDC survey between July 24 and 30, 2020, adults in the U.S. reported significant negative mental health symptoms stemming from Coronavirus stress.  Out of 5,412 adults between the ages of 18 and 24, 40 percent reported they were currently struggling with poor mental health or substance abuse. A total of 31 percent reported problems with anxiety and depression. 13 percent said they had a substance abuse problem.
Racial minorities, essential and front-line workers, along with unpaid adult caregivers, reported the greatest difficulties. Without access to community resources and outside help, people have felt abandoned and helpless in their struggles. The bleakness of the present, coupled with the fear of an uncertain future, makes it hard for someone to feel hopeful. It also impacts the desire to care for themselves.
People face additional stress through lack of work/reduced hours, financial hardships, and even illnesses or death in their inner circle. Loss from COVID-19 induces grief in many forms. Working through grief alone is difficult, if not impossible, without the right help. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources accessible from anywhere if you have an internet connection.
Getting Help for Depression and Addiction During COVID-19 From Dual Diagnosis Rehab
Licensed substance abuse therapists are offering services remotely via video chat. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous organizations offer free virtual support group meetings. Dual diagnosis rehab resources can also be found online through support groups sponsored by Mental Health America and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
Remember, no matter what someone may be going through or how much they fear their present situation, there is always hope. It is only a matter of you or a loved one willing to seek help for depression and addiction. In a perfect world, our wounds and struggles would immediately be met by the people most capable of mending them. Unfortunately, we must put in work even when we are at our lowest point to get the care we need.
Do not let depression and addiction overcome you or someone you love. There is more than one way to move forward. The best way to being getting better is to reach out and let others know about you.