Although necessary for the greater good, the ‘Shelter in Place’ order imposed by Illinois, among other states, may have unintended effects on many of our clients and others with past drug or alcohol dependency.
The closure of bars, restaurants and other gathering places along with the social distancing recommendation encouraged by the government and media is resulting in a higher degree of isolation. The inability of the average person to socialize with others may result in the onset of anxiety, loneliness and depression. As a consequence, those individuals susceptible to such feelings may attempt to ‘self-medicate’ through the consumption of alcohol or drug-use. These feelings may make it even more difficult for those with pre-existing alcohol or drug problems who are in recovery to avoid relapse.
Recent media reports have indicated that there has been a substantial increase in alcohol and marijuana purchases during the current COVID-19 health crisis. Liquor stores and cannabis dispensaries are both deemed essential businesses and remain open. Bars and restaurants still have the ability to sell alcohol to customers through delivery as well as curbside pick-up.