It’s only July, but 2020 may undoubtedly be one of the craziest years in the books. Faced with the new normal of working from home, temporary unemployment for some, home-schooling children, lack of physical contact with friends and family and the uncertainty of when coronavirus cases will begin to decline, many may experience a negative impact on their mental health.
In a recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll, nearly half (45 percent) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been affected negatively due to worry and stress over the virus. It is likely that as we continue to maneuver through the pandemic, the mental health burden will increase as measures taken to slow the spread of the virus, such as social distancing, business and school closures, and shelter-in-place orders, lead to greater isolation and potential financial distress.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, drug abuse in the U.S. was already on the rise, coinciding with the legalization of marijuana in many states. With added stresses, this number will continue to rise when comparing this pandemic to other historic national crises, such as the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Studies revealed that many people sought self-medicating as a way to cope with symptoms of depression.
Brad Parker says, “It’s so important, especially for those who battle with addiction and/or mental health issues, to stay active and stick to a schedule in these crazy times. Finding ways to safely connect with others is also incredibly important, especially if the support groups normally relied upon are not convening due to COVID.”
Alcohol sales across the country have surged. In most states, alcohol outlets have been designated as essential businesses. Sales of alcohol have increased by 247 percent since the end of March when we were all urged to stay at home according to Nielsen research firm. The World Health Organization (WHO) has specifically warned about alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO advised that alcohol consumption during emergencies can intensify health vulnerabilities, risk-taking behavior, violence and mental health and substance abuse issues. Also, over time alcohol impairs the body’s immune function and especially the lungs’ ability to combat infection.
Addiction thrives on secrecy and loves to catch people off-guard. It can progress quickly, especially during COVID-19 social isolation. Here are mental health support sites to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Texas Health and Human Resources
Mental Health Texas
Here for Texas
Despite what is going on with the virus and the economy, know that you are not alone if you struggle with addition or mental health struggles. We hope you'll use some of these resources we've provided to help you if you need some extra support during this time.
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.