Is Drug Rehab Safe During the COVID-19 Outbreak?

With the possibility of a fourth wave of COVID-19 in Canada, questions exist over the safety of a drug rehab centre during this period.

Drug rehabs are constantly evolving by setting COVID-19 preventive measures to reduce the spread of the virus. With protective and emergency protocols in place, addiction treatment centres are adapting to provide safe rehab treatment.

This article comprises information to guide you on getting addiction treatment during this pandemic. Here, we’ll explore the steps addiction treatment centres are taking to ensure your safety when getting addiction treatment.

Is Drug Rehab during COVID-19 Safe?

It’s no doubt that life as we know it is no longer the same since the inception of COVID-19. The pandemic came with a significant change in doing things, which generally affects businesses, careers, health, and life.

Due to the virus’ peculiar mode of spread, medical authorities are advising people to avoid crowds and public spaces. Government regulations exist asking people to stay away from large gatherings, parks and other possible mediums of contracting the deadly virus.

Unfortunately, the peculiarities of the pandemic are dangerous for addiction and substance abuse. People now spend more time indoors. Boredom, isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic are causing a significant increase in the rate of addiction problems in Canada and worldwide.

Thankfully, addiction treatment centres are adapting their services to ensure addiction treatment is safe during the pandemic. From adoption telehealth treatment options to regular sanitizing and social distancing, addiction rehab is as safe as possible.

Will the Pandemic Abate Anytime Soon?

Judging from the look of things and news on the media, COVID-19 doesn’t look like it’s going to leave anytime soon. Different provinces now report over 3,000 new cases of COVID-19  every day.

In July, COVID-19 cases were up 640% of the usual average of 396 cases daily. Having such stats indicates that Canada is now fully in the grasp of a fourth wave of the deadly virus.

The virus is indeed highly contagious and life-threatening. While the health workers do their best to help us fight the pandemic, everyone has to find ways to adjust and fit into this new method of life. The way to do this is by observing the COVID-19 safety rules from the government and recognized medical institutions.

Addiction Treatment During COVID-19

It’s better to go to a drug rehab during the pandemic because COVID-19 may be around for a long while. Instead of battling indoors with addiction, it’s best to sign up for a drug or alcohol rehab program that follows pandemic protocols.

On your part, you can protect yourself by wearing a mask, carrying a sanitizer and distancing yourself from people. The pandemic is new, and everybody has to be conscious of protecting themselves as regards.

The change is new and so crucial that even multi-national organizations have to succumb to government rules. Every sector in the economy is currently finding better ways to manage its operations during this pandemic period.

Before admitting you into the rehab facilities, medical professionals will likely perform a COVID-19 test. They’ll also ask questions about your travel routine and possible exposure.

The addiction professional that’ll attend to you will have put on protective gear as well. They’all schedule your addiction treatment

Should I Go for Addiction Treatment During this Pandemic?

Yes! It’s important to find a solution or treatment to your addiction problem even during this pandemic.

Skepticism to go out during these scary times is quite understandable. But staying indoors due to the fear of this deadly virus while battling addiction can be dangerous.

See some points you can consider to help you decide about going to a drug rehab during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Protect Yourself

When stepping out of your house, especially for addiction treatment, the first thing step is to protect yourself from the virus. Asymptomatic people don’t show signs of COVID infection. Therefore, you may not see obvious signs of an infected person.

Protect yourself by wearing PPE gear like N95 face masks. You should also observe all government instructions on public health and safety concerning COVID-19. Also, don’t forget to avoid crowded places and sanitize your hands regularly.

Your life is your number one priority. So, you need to protect yourself while trying to save yourself from the problem of addiction.

Save your Life

People with substance addiction are vulnerable to SARS-Cov-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19.

By checking into an in-patient addiction treatment centre, you’ll reduce the chances of contracting the virus. An addiction treatment centre with strict screening and sanitizing protocols will improve your chances of not contracting COVID-19.

Mental Health

mental healthIf you stay at home without seeking addiction treatment services in Ontario because of this pandemic, your substance addiction problem is likely to worsen.

The pandemic comes with feelings of anxiety and stress that can worsen a substance abuse habit. It’s best to get in front of it by getting the addiction treatment you need.

Make adequate inquiries about the measures the drug rehab is taking during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re satisfied with their preventive measures, you can sign up with the rehab centre.

Choice of Treatment Program

The Canadian government’s regulations in relation to COVID-19 revolve around limiting your movement and staying indoors. An inpatient treatment program is the best option at this point because you’ll be receiving treatment in an indoor facility.

An indoor treatment program will help you get addiction treatment while avoiding COVID-19 in the best possible way — staying indoors. An inpatient program is mostly for people with severe addiction problems. Plus, it’s costlier than the outpatient addiction treatment program.

An outpatient program is suitable for individuals with mild addiction problems. During an outpatient program, you need to come from your house on scheduled days. But, you still need to protect yourself by wearing a mask and avoiding crowded places. You can carry a personal sanitizer as an additional protective measure.

Related Article: Guide to Methadone Clinics

How Drug Rehabs are Ensuring Safety During the Pandemic

Drug rehabs always experience continuous inflow and outflow of people. Some of these people may come for inquiries about addiction, while some may already be getting treatment.

Sometimes, there may be an influx of people clogging the reception area in a bid to get answers to whatever they came to achieve.

The first way rehab centres are ensuring safety is by managing the traffic of people coming to their facilities in compliance with the COVID-19 safety measures. They do this by offering online customer support, allowing patients and their loved ones to make inquiries from home.

See more ways drug rehabs can make their facilities safe during this COVID-19.

Set Protective Standards within the Rehab

Setting COVID-19 safety standards in rehab centers helps mitigate the spread of the virus within the facilities. The management of the rehab center can set rules that ensure everybody protects themselves from the virus.

For instance, the management can uphold the government’s policy on wearing a face mask. Within their facilities, rehab centers can make slight structural changes to keep people 10 meters away from each other.

Also, placing prompters strategically can help people within the drug rehab to remember always to protect themselves from COVID-19. The management can also talk to the security to make sure people adhere to safety measures put in place by the rehab center.

Patient Safety within the Rehab

Within the rehab, addiction treatment centres are limiting patient contact with visitors. Instead of weekly visits, addiction rehabs are scheduling monthly visits with reduced contact. It’s a measure that can prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the facility.

Similarly, rehab centres are providing face masks and hand sanitizers for their patients. With hand sanitizers placed at strategic places within the facility, patients will get a visual reminder to be on alert.

Most rehab centres are reducing group sessions to less than ten people at the same time. Even within the same facility, video calling tech is the go-to for addiction rehab centres in Ontario.

Healthcare Personnel Safety within the Rehab

healthcare personnel safetyThe medical experts or professionals within the rehab will protection against COVID-19. The management of the drug rehab can always hold brief meetings with the staff to ensure the application of COVID-19 safety measures during this period.

Medical professionals in drug rehabs make the most contact with the patients. Most rehab centres are responding by sensitizing their addiction specialists on the importance of protecting themselves at all times.

However, low-level staff like the janitor and security are also important within the rehab facility. The COVID-19 sensitization is important for them as well. With a well-informed and COVID-19 sensitive staff, the rehab only has to worry about the patients.

Setting Isolation and Admission Periods

The drug rehab management can have a clear but equal admission and pre-admission process to minimize the dangers of COVID-19. In addition, new patients in the rehab are to undergo isolation for 14 days to reduce the spread of the virus.

Due to the short-term nature of some addiction treatment programs, some rehabs shorten the isolation period once the patient provides a negative COVID-19 test result. It may not be in line with the government’s rule against COVID-19, but most rehabs see no need for the delay if the patient is COVID-19 free.

The drug rehab management also needs to consider if the two weeks isolation will have an adverse effect on the mental health of any patient. While the two-week isolation period may not be best for you, the addiction treatment centre will respond in equal measure to ensure your safety.

Virtual Addiction Treatment

Drug rehabs can adopt the use of modern technology to treat mild addiction problems. You can receive addiction treatment through a reliable and secure video chat platform. It’s one way that rehabs mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Virtual treatment for substance abuse may not be ideal for every case. An inpatient treatment program has a higher rate of success due to the intensive care and close supervision you’ll get from the rehab. Therefore, addiction centres are pivoting to incorporate telehealth care alongside

Hygiene and Control of Infection

Medical experts emphasize the need to observe thorough hygiene in drug rehab, especially during this COVID-19 era. Therefore, the rehab center management can increase cleaning practices across the entire facility.

Surfaces, chair-arms, door handles, and other areas that people mostly touch are areas the rehab center can focus on to curb the spread of the virus. If it’s possible, medical experts can use delicate materials once and dispose of them immediately.

The rehab management can also make sure the wastes of symptomatic patients are neatly packaged and thrown away. If someone with COVID-19 vacates a space, they also apply COVID-19 hygiene protocol when cleaning the room.

Related Article: How to Find the Right Methadone Clinic in Toronto

Final Thoughts

The recent news in the media about the fourth wave of COVID-19 indicates the pandemic may be around for a while. You should not allow COVID-19 to deter you from going to a drug rehab during this period. Especially because most drug rehab centres are now taking measures to ensure addiction treatment during this period is safe.

Here at Inspire Change Wellness Centre, we understand the severity of the coronavirus and have measures in place to provide addiction care safely. Call us today to discuss your addiction treatment options!

Leave a comment