With so much unknown about how these variants will affect safety measures and infection rates, it can be difficult to decide if now is the right time to detox from alcohol. Fortunately, The Blackberry Center is here to help provide information about how the omicron variant could affect your plans to attend a substance abuse treatment program.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Alcohol Abuse
Though the COVID-19 pandemic may make it seem less appealing to go through drug and alcohol detox, quitting drinking is now more important than ever. The stress of dealing with COVID-19 over the past two years has resulted in a boom in the number of people turning to drugs or alcohol to deal with their anxiety.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol sales throughout the country have spiked significantly since March 2020, when COVID-19 began rapidly spreading in the U.S. With the disruption of normal social contacts and the fear of possible infection, many people ended up replacing parts of their social life with drinking at home. And with people more hesitant to enroll in an alcohol detox program, it became harder to get help.
A recent study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine explored how the pandemic has affected alcohol abuse rates. The study found that participants who experienced stress due to COVID-19 also consumed significantly more alcohol than those who didn’t. The three top concerns among those who reported drinking more were worries about social distancing, spending less time with family and friends, and the closures of schools or daycares.
Many of the restrictions of previous lockdowns may have disappeared, but the effects they’ve left behind haven’t. If you’ve developed an alcohol use disorder as a result of the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, the best way to detox from alcohol is still with a professionally supervised alcohol detox program. And going through alcohol detoxification is one of the best choices you can make to avoid getting COVID-19.
Why Detoxing From Alcohol During COVID-19 Is a Good Idea
Because of how infectious the omicron strain of COVID-19 is, some might feel that staying home is the best way to keep themselves safe. But for those struggling with addiction, going through alcohol detox should be the top priority.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that some people increased their alcohol intake during the pandemic because they believed that drinking alcohol would protect them from the virus. But in reality, research has shown that COVID-19 hits people with substance use disorders particularly hard, especially people who regularly abuse alcohol, which weakens the respiratory system. And sadly, the danger does not stop there.
Alcohol abuse can suppress your immune system, making it take longer to recognize and respond to a developing infection. This can make infection symptoms last longer and become more intense than they would otherwise. Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of acute respiratory issues like pneumonia, which has been linked to worse health outcomes in those who catch COVID-19.
Damage to the immune system from alcohol abuse doesn’t only occur in people who use large amounts of alcohol for a long time. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) NIAAA warns that a single episode of drinking can suppress the immune system for up to 24 hours. Additional studies show that drinking, even once, can suppress the immune system afterward for a short time.
It may seem like now isn’t the best time to go to an alcohol detox facility, and some people may even be tempted to detox from alcohol at home. But alcohol detox symptoms can be dangerous, and even fatal, if you don’t have professional treatment. If you’re looking for how to help alcohol withdrawal symptoms, professionally supervised detox is still the best path to getting clean and staying safe.
Is It Safe to Go to an Alcohol Detox Program?
Yes, it is still safe to go to an alcohol detox center. Health care services reacted quickly to adapt to the added risks posed by the coronavirus. This is especially true in institutions like drug or alcohol rehab facilities, where people need to come into close contact with their peers and caregivers.
During this time, The Blackberry Center’s primary focus has been on patient safety and wellness. In an effort to continue providing a safe environment for our patients going through alcohol detox to reflect and heal, we’ve taken many steps at our St. Cloud alcohol treatment center in Florida to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Monitoring CDC updates to ensure that all of our guidelines and practices are up-to-date and effective.
- Providing all staff members with infection prevention and control training.
- Administering thorough disinfection and hygiene programs.
- Using patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer in our treatment center.
- Implementing new screening protocols for visitors and patients.
- Communicating with our local health department to stay current on important community-specific updates and guidelines.
The omicron variant is believed to be more contagious than previous strains of the COVID-19 virus, but so far it seems that the symptoms are usually less severe. The CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination, including booster doses, as the best defense against infection.
While those who have previously had COVID-19 or been vaccinated may still contract the virus, vaccination lessens the severity of symptoms. With a combination of vaccination, proper safety procedures, and cleanliness, it is not only safe to attend an alcohol detox program, but the safest choice that you can make for your long-term health.
Finding a Safe Alcohol Rehab Center in Florida
If you’re looking for safe, medically supervised alcohol detox in Florida, then The Blackberry Center can help you. At our state-of-the-art facility in St. Cloud, Florida, we offer a medically supervised alcohol detox program, as well as ongoing dual diagnosis alcohol addiction treatment. Our treatments include:
- Medication support (if needed)
- Dietary planning
- Recreational therapy
- Overall physical health evaluation
- Group/peer therapy
- An individualized detox program
No matter what your unique situation calls for, we’re here to help. If you have questions about how we can help you detox from alcohol, we invite you to contact us at 888-512-9802 or by using our confidential online form. Recovery begins with the first step.
Nestled in a tranquil setting just outside of Orlando, in Central Florida, our mental health facility provides patients with a safe place to reflect, reset and heal.