LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Health officials warn of another health crisis that will follow the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has really created the perfect storm for people that suffer from addiction and mental illness,” said Dr. Sarah Johnson, the chief medical officer from Landmark Recovery.
Dr. Johnson wants to warn people that the drug problem in the United States has the chance to get much worse.
“Depression, anxiety, increased social isolation are all factors that contributed to what many officials are predicting to be a mental health crisis to follow the COVID crisis in the United States.”
Most of the country has been closed for around two months. Dr. Johnson said the stress from coronavirus and all of the societal and economic repercussions can add to the looming mental health crisis.
“Unemployment rates and the economic fallout are stressors that doesn’t seem like it’s going away in the near future,” said Dr. Johnson.
As we try to find ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health professionals have still been trying to help people are suffering from other dangerous ailments.
“The opiate crisis didn’t end just because we had a new crisis with COVID. In our treatment centers we are seeing record numbers of people present for admission to residential treatment,” said Dr. Johnson.
Outpatient programming across the industry have maintained stable levels. In some cases, even higher numbers because of the rise of telehealth and telepsychiatry.
Dr. Johnson said these methods will be helpful as we reopen things up since people might have barriers that would limit their ability to seek care.
“It’s not like anyone is going to flip the switch and all of a sudden people can gather in groups of 50 or more for AA meetings or go sit in small rooms to have group therapy.
Dr. Johnson wants to encourage people to seek out treatment before it is too late.
The National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hotline is 1-800-662-Help (4357).