CINCINNATI — The coronavirus pandemic is touching just about every corner of life -- that also includes people living with addiction.
The Brightview Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Center surveyed more than 3,000 people dealing with addiction across the state of Ohio about the impact COVID-19 is having on their lives.
The study was done to identify common problems and find areas in addiction treatment that can be improved.
“Lack of access to common goods, difficulty with employment, difficulty with child care,” Brightview Health Marketing director Colin Jeffries said.
The survey asked about the delivery of treatment, and how that treatment is being affected.
“A reduction in ride-sharing programs, reduction in public transportation availability and that sort of thing, which is directly impacting our patients, and then when you combine that with the difficulties of child care, it can be really challenging,” Jeffries said.
Virtual treatment is the new reality for many patients, as 46% of those surveyed said access to treatment is more difficult. Another 22% of them said it's better now than it was before the pandemic.
“We really tried to make sure Telehealth is more accessible and more available,” Jeffries said.
The quarantine and pandemic may also be responsible for more unpleasant situations.
“What we’ve noticed is that folks are not coming in to receive treatment, and we’ve unfortunately seen spikes in overdoses in many counties in Ohio,” Jeffries said.
Brightview is putting more emphasis on group Zoom meetings and other ways the agency can connect with its patients.
“We definitely anticipate rolling out additional Telehealth services, or doing groups via Telehealth, peer support via Telehealth,” Jeffries said.
Brightview still accepts walk-ins at its facilities during the week until 3 p.m. and their phone line is monitored 24 hours a day.