The COVID-19 pandemic has made for a challenging year across the globe. From job loss to the death of loved ones, the last year has brought hard times and difficult struggles, many of which have been exacerbated by the isolation that comes with lockdowns, working from home, and the inability to visit family and friends. It is no surprise that we have seen an increase in individuals struggling with mental health concerns as well as substance abuse over the past year.
A research study by the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine found that for adults under lockdown, “hazardous” alcohol use increased from 21% in April of 2020 to over 40% by September and probable alcohol dependence rose from 8% to over 29%. These figures are staggering. Loneliness appears to be a huge contributing factor given that statistics of adults who were not under lockdown were unchanged.
If someone you love has turned to alcohol or another substance during these lonely times, we want to offer help. Here are three steps you can take today for a necessary intervention.
1. Express your concern lovingly and at an opportune time.
Choose a time when your loved one is sober, away from other distractions, and in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Assure your loved one that you care deeply for them and express your concern for the impact their drinking is having on their health, life, relationships, etc. Rather than pass judgement, allow this to be a compassionate conversation and give them an opportunity to open up about their struggle.
2. Set up a family intervention.
If your loved one is not willing to dialogue with you or you would rather not have this initial conversation alone, consider setting up a family meeting to express concerns together. Be sure that everyone present is not their to accuse or judge but rather to share their worries and urge their loved one to pursue a path to recovery
3. Seek professional help.
There are trained professionals that are able and willing to walk through a recovery program with your loved one. Your family member or friend will need medical guidance to withdraw safely and counseling on how to cope with underlying issues. You can talk to a professional at Solace Asia today by calling 012.885.4686.