Dealing with addiction and alcohol dependence during COVID-19

Posted at 3:56 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 14:36:55-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — People everywhere are adapting to a new normal to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and while many things in life can be put on hold, recovery from drugs and alcohol can't.

Now, treatment facilities like the Shepherd's House in Lexington are adapting to how they treat addiction. They are currently holding AA meetings and talking to therapists through phone calls and zoom meetings.

Ryan Petteruti has been at the Shepherd's House for about 7 weeks, and he says while it's been a transition doing meetings online, it's crucial to recovery to still have meetings, "We just do recovery with technology, it's really not that much different other than not having that face to face interaction, but the reality for me and for the guys in this house is without recovery, without these meetings, whether they are on zoom or in-person I'm not going to get better, we need these meetings."

Jarod Thomas is the Executive Director of the Shepherd's House, he says he is proud of the men in treatment getting help, but the COVID-19 outbreak has made it extra challenging to help the most vulnerable alcoholics and addicts who are homeless; he says these men and woman are at a greater risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.

"The people who usually reach out to this community, we can't reach out right now, so people who aren't currently in a treatment center or aren't getting the help they are kind of out there by themselves, and that makes me really sad because we usually have better ways to reach out to them and we can't use those ways today," says Thomas.

And to anyone who is debating getting help right now, Thomas says there is no better time, "This is a great time to get sober, and I will tell you why it is a great time to get sober. Everybody doesn't want to go to treatment and put their life on hold for 30 days, well guess what your life is on hold for 30 days anyway, so it is a perfect time to ask for help."