Contact: Rod Colvin
Addiction Physician Offers Coping Tips during Pandemic
Opioid addiction claims 128 American lives every day; however, during the last few months of the Covid19 pandemic, opioid overdose deaths have increased 18 percent, according to the American Society for Addiction Medicine.
Why the increase? According to addiction medicine physician, Michael McGee, M.D., “Emotional pain drives addiction. Covid19 has increased the pains of isolation, loneliness, health anxiety, and financial stress for those dealing with unemployment. People with a vulnerability to addiction will be inclined to use drugs more in response to these stressors.”
Dr. McGee, of St. Luis Obispo, CA, is author of 101 Things to Know if You Are Addicted to Painkillers. He offers the following tips for those struggling with addiction during the pandemic.
- Connect with others. Use the phone and the Internet to connect to friends and family. Reach out and stay in touch.
- Narcotics Anonymous has numerous online support groups. Visit www.NA.org
- Get support. Ask for help from recovery mentors and recovery supports. Ask for help. Connect with a support daily.
- Engage in activity that has meaning to you. Use your time to invest in meaningful work. Find ways to contribute to others.
- Endure in faith and hope. This pandemic will pass. Stay positive and hopeful.
- Strive for good self-care. Be your own ideal parent. Nurture and soothe yourself.
- Eat a nutritious diet. Get plenty of sleep. Make an effort to have fun.
- Ground yourself in stillness. Keep up a daily practice of prayer, yoga, or meditation.
- Practice being present—living in the moment throughout the day. This will promote peace and clarity.
Although the pandemic has caused disruptions is patients meeting with addiction therapists, the federal government has taken steps to improve access to remote care. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has waived the requirement that prescribers see patients in person to prescribe medications such as Suboxone, used to treat opioid addiction. Now prescribers can see patients by videoconference and prescribe controlled medications. Also, methadone treatment centers can give up to twenty-eight days of methadone to patients deemed safe enough to take medication home.
“Many patients prefer video appointments because they are more convenient,” according to Dr. McGee.
Author Available for Interviews
Dr. Michael McGee is now available for interviews. To schedule an interview, you can contact him directly by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be reached by phone on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at (805) 459-8232. On Tuesdays, he can be reached at (978) 360-6071.
A PDF of his book, 101 Things to Know if You’re Addicted to Painkillers, is available upon request. Contact Rod Colvin, Addicus Books, at email@example.com.
The book is available as a paperback and as an e-book.