No one can dispute that the last several years across the world have been ones that we’re never seen before and hope are never seen again—everything from civil unrest, political upset, and distrust to healthcare limitations and labor shortages. Our Orange County drug rehab center has felt the shift in the number of patients treated and the severity of their various conditions.
Throughout the pandemic, there was no shortage of stories of outrageous behavior, unreasonable outbursts, and even increases in criminal behavior and mental health issues. If you spent any time on social media over the last few years, you’ve likely seen the many confrontations over mask-wearing, airplane regulations, private company protocols, grocery store supply chain issues, and many other unacceptable scenarios.
Why is this happening? What’s going on in the minds and hearts of humans today? Now that we’re well into the second half of this year, we can see that it has largely shaped up similarly. Is this the new “normal?”
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The Societal Shift
The Council On Criminal Justice updated its crime analysis study as of July 2022. They report that over the past two years, homicides and firearm assaults increased while property crimes decreased. These rates later swapped as the second half of the year began.
They also discovered that homicides in 2020 had gone down by a meager 2% compared to 2021, but the going rate is still 39% higher than pre-pandemic. Armed robberies also increased by 19%, along with aggravated assault which increased by 4% in the first half of 2022 compared to early 2021 numbers.
Similarly, residential and commercial burglaries and vehicle thefts all increased between 6% and 20% this year compared to last year. Data from more standard years would often suggest that many of these crimes were committed due to subjects suffering from substance use disorders and drug or alcohol addiction.
However, that’s not the case with these numbers. According to the Council On Criminal Justice, substance-related offenses dropped by approximately 7% this year. But that’s only part of the story.
According to a psychiatry professor at Stanford, “The pandemic has created a lot of high-stress, low-reward situations. Everyone is teetering slightly closer to their breaking point. Someone who may have lost a job, a loved one, or a friend to the pandemic might be pushed over the edge by an innocuous request.” 
What has this meant in the world of substance use disorders and addiction?
The recent COVID-19 pandemic was classified as a National Emergency in March 2020. At that time, not only were substance use disorder sufferers at increased risk of covid-19 outcomes, but it could also have had a dramatic effect on their overall recovery.
The American Psychiatry Association advises that the ongoing stressors in the uncertainty related to the pandemic led to an increase in demand for mental health services Across the Nation. Here at Clear Life Recovery’s Orange County drug rehab center, we can confirm the validity of their findings.
By June 2020, just three months later, 13% of American patients reported having picked up a new substance or increasing their dosage to cope with the pandemic’s circumstances. Over 40% of US adults revealed they were struggling with mental health substance use, and 11% seriously considered suicide.
It was also noted that the number of overdoses increased in the early months of the pandemic compared to the year before and continued into the later months of 2020. According to the American Medical Association, 40 US states reported a greater number of opioid-related deaths and other substance use disorder concerns.
A Path For Addiction Recovery with an Orange County Drug Rehab
Medical and mental health professionals all agree that patients at increased risk of developing substance use disorder are those who experience other personal or relational traumas in their life. The last few years only added to those traumas and stressors, giving substance use disorder sufferers a new trigger.
The pandemic may have calmed in severity this year. However, the effects live on in many families who have lost jobs, lost homes, lost loved ones, and lost much of what was familiar to them. It can feel like starting over or continuing on is impossible without the aid of substances.
If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use disorder, there is hope and healing on the other side of treatment and a holistic approach to care.
Call The Premier Orange County Drug Rehab Center
Our team of qualified and experienced providers is ready to help you or your loved one progress on their journey to recovery. It starts with a phone call, and it can start today!