'You're not alone': Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health sees more reaching out for addiction help

Added stress of pandemic leads to rise in cases
Posted at 6:14 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 19:56:13-04

BATAVIA, Ohio — After 3 1/2 years of struggling with an addiction to meth, Mandy Brock knew it was time to make a change.

“A year ago yesterday, I decided enough was enough and I went to rehab,” she said.

And with that decision, Brock said her life has changed for the better.

“A lot of blessings," she said. "I’m a miracle.”

She celebrated one year sober on Aug. 28, which means about half of her first year of sobriety has been during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I struggled like the first couple months being stuck at home, not being able to see people for a while,” she said. “It was hard because you don’t want to go back into isolation.”

With the added stressors of the pandemic, addiction recovery services around the Tri-State have seen an increase in people looking for help getting or staying sober.

Brock said it wasn’t easy, but she leaned on her roommates and staff at a Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services recovery house to stay sober and stay in recovery.”

“We’re there for each other. We support each other,” she said.

GCBHS leaders said the organization has seen more people dealing with substance use issues during the pandemic, often turning to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with uncertainty or added stress.

Melissa Cole, a prevention team leader at GCBHS, said those struggling are never truly alone.

“We’re here, and there are people who get it and want to support you through that. You don’t have to struggle alone,” she said.

During September, which is National Recovery Month, GCBHS clients celebrated their recovery through art.

The organization recently started in-person meetings again with extra precautions, but new telehealth options it started throughout the pandemic helped make their services more accessible to everyone.

“It’s been a blessing for a lot of our folks because they can be from the comfort of their home and not have to worry about transportation,” said Patricia Taylor, a recovery coach and peer specialist with GCBHS.

These women offered a simple message: don’t give up, because there's always hope.

“There’s help out there everywhere,” Brock said. “Reach out.”

If you're struggling with addiction, or for more information, click here.