Unless you have been secluded with no social media or media access you know the country (world) is facing a health epidemic. However, panic is not in our best interest. Especially when it comes to Alcohol or Substance Use Disorders, more people will suffer and or die of alcohol and addiction-related events including car accidents, overdoses, and suicide to name a few than Coronavirus. Our public health system and actions taken by our countries and local leadership are extensive. Alcohol and Substance Use disorders will not simply disappear because the epidemic exists. We need to be well informed and alert, follow good judgment and have the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.
Quit Alcohol is monitoring treatment facilities that we have rated for their policies and procedures. As with any communicable disease or virus, Behavioral Health Treatment centers will implement enhanced precautions to protect you and their staff every day. At this time, all professional and reputable health agencies are taking heightened measures to protect you and their staff from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The following steps and more are implemented for patient safety:
- Depending upon the size of the agency, a limited number of entrances and exits.
- Monitored entrances 24 hours a day.
- Rigorous screening of all patients, including an initial seclusion and testing process.
- Increase in the number of times daily that the facilities and waiting areas are cleaned and disinfected.
- Placement of additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility required for use for all who enter the facility.
- Postponement of ancillary group events with large gatherings, for instance, offsite attendance at Mutual Support groups in the community.
Regarding COVID-19 and as with any communicable disease, clinical teams are monitoring information from federal, state and local public health agencies for the latest information. They are in constant review of infection prevention processes and will continue to update patient screenings and protocols as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
With this in mind, continue to encourage those afflicted with Substance Use Disorders to admit to treatment as needed. Not to be cynical but any excuse to defer treatment is a good excuse for those afflicted with alcoholism and substance use.