The Upside of Coronavirus

THE UPSIDE OF CORONAVIRUS - people who have previously hidden their addictions from their families because they mostly drink at work or use at school are quickly going to be exposed, because of the quarantine. It’s going to give parents and spouses a chance to see what things are really like when they’re not around each other all the time. 

This may be the upside of the COVID-19, as it can take years to fully understand someone in your family who needs professional help. The circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus can shorten a person’s bottom from years to weeks. 

It will suddenly become apparent that your husband can’t make it to happy hour before taking his first drink or your daughter smokes pot much more frequently than the occasional sorority gettogether.  

Given my experience with addiction, I think it’s unlikely people will use the quarantine to defuse their drinking or drugging; more likely these habits will increase at an alarming rate. For me personally, September 11TH was the begging of the end - after the towers fell, I was off to the races, and three years later I had lost everything. 

Everyone is experiencing fear as this thing continues to progress and may feel it’s better to ignore someone’s addiction problems, but to the contrary, it's an ideal time to be in treatment. 

Treatment centers are isolated communities with limited contact with the general public, making it a good place to be during the outbreak. The treatment centers I am in touch with have stopped outside meetings and aren't allowing visitors except for urgent matters. 

One of the barriers to a person accepting treatment is them not wanting to miss work or school; the quarantine has taken care of both of these barriers. 

Keeping a young adult at home against their will if they’re jonesing for drugs or cigarettes is going to be difficult. Controlling their behavior and who they come in contact with could be an exhausting task. The same is true for an adult struggling to control their addiction. Having them in treatment under the care of professionals is an ideal situation.

Marc Kantor is the founder of South Florida Intervention which helps families struggling with the devastating effects of addiction. He can be reached at marc@southfloridaintervention.com