Canaan, CT – Anyone who consumes the news long enough will see the same message: hospitals are overrun, but healthcare workers continue to put the lives of others in front of their own needs, despite the threat of COVID-19. This World Health Day, held annually on April 7th, Mountainside treatment center joins the World Health Organization in issuing a special thanks to doctors, nurses, and healthcare specialists around the world who provide comfort and safety to those suffering from coronavirus and other devastating illnesses.

In the midst of a global pandemic, the lifesaving care issued by healthcare workers is on full display. Emergency rooms across the nation are overwhelmed, and medical providers are working around the clock to save as many lives as possible while facing the acute possibility that they may contract the virus themselves.

With massive amounts of resources being allocated to fight coronavirus, hospitals across the nation are straining to meet the needs of patients struggling with other ailments, including addiction. Reports indicate that many recovery centers and detox programs are closing or limiting services during this time in an effort to “flatten the curve,” leaving many without critical supports. All New York City hospitals, for example, have closed their detox units. This is a discouraging development for addicted individuals, as detox is the first stage of recovery for many.

There are multiple reasons this is a vulnerable time for individuals struggling with substance use disorders. First, this population is more at risk for suffering from COVID-19, a virus known to cause – or in the case of those who consume nicotine or opioids, aggravate – respiratory issues. Aside from the medical risk factors, those battling addiction face an increased likelihood of relapse during this time of social distancing. Because connecting with others is a cornerstone of addiction recovery, stress and isolation may prompt many to start drinking or using drugs again. Additionally, others previously interested in pursuing treatment may now attempt to detox at home, on their own – a potentially fatal move for those addicted to alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines such as Xanax, which are all associated with dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

In light of these conditions, Mountainside recognizes the critical importance of continuing to provide care for this high-risk population. Its dedicated team of medical and clinical treatment professionals continue to welcome clients into the treatment center’s Detox and Residential programs, with added precautions. Sanitation measures have been strengthened throughout the facilities, essential employees wear protective gear, there are daily temperature checks for staff and clients, and new clients are assessed for COVID-19 prior to being admitted to the facility.  

“The impact of coronavirus in exacerbating the opioid crisis and addiction cannot be overstated, and we remain committed to supporting the recovery community during this time,” says Ashley McGee, Director of Nursing at Mountainside. “Our detox unit is still an optimal space for healing, removing clients from the stress of the outside world and allowing them to receive the professional help that they need to effectively start to heal. We are especially grateful to the dedicated professionals on the front lines who make this possible, providing much-needed hope and care.” 

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Mountainside Treatment Center

Mountainside is nationally recognized for the effectiveness of its drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs. Our Integrative Care Model provides a comprehensive set of treatment and care offerings coordinated by a multidisciplinary treatment team to best fit the unique needs and interests of each client. We are lauded for our ability to partner with each client and the client’s family and healthcare professionals in developing and executing individualized treatment plans that promote long-term sobriety. Learn more about Mountainside at mountainside.com.