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Resources available for those challenged by isolation caused by COVID-19 crisis

South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services provides for those in need of treatment, recovery during coronavirus pandemic
Credit: Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Self isolation, social distancing and stay-at-home orders enacted because of the COVID-19 crisis are hard on everyone -- and can be particularly hard on someone in treatment or with a history of substance abuse.

Being apart from others can trigger anxiety, feelings of loneliness, boredom and frustration, symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and may lead to a desire to use drugs or alcohol to cope with day-to-day life.

The South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) wants the public to know that the agency continues to provide resources for those in need of treatment and recovery services, ensuring the availability of the lifesaving overdose antidote Narcan® and sharing tips for the safe storage of prescription opioids during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

DAODAS Director Sara Goldsby says, “First and foremost, it is crucial for South Carolinians to know that – even in these times of business closings and the importance of social distancing – treatment is available throughout the state.

“While recovery is usually supported by in-person meetings and peer support groups, local and national organizations have made the move to online meetings during this crisis, and those in recovery have an abundance of opportunities to remain connected with others in the recovery community. Individuals can find online recovery resources on the DAODAS website, and we encourage people to call and check with local organizations for the most up-to-date information.” 

Treatment services are available in South Carolina through DAODAS’ system of state-licensed and nationally accredited service providers. For information on how to access treatment, call 803-896-5555 or go to daodas.sc.gov.

Tips for coping during the coronavirus crisis:

  • Reach out to friends and family through social media, calls, emails or texts. Try to talk "face-to-face" using Facetime or virtual platforms when possible.
  • Keep opiods out of reach of teens, children and vunerable adults by storing the drugs in a locked cabinet. Always keep the pills in the bottle provided by the pharmacy and keep track of the number of pills remaining in a prescription.
  • If opiods are a problem and addiction or misuse is possible, it is important to keep Narcan on hand in case of an overdose. Narcan is available as a nasal spray without a prescription in pharmacies across South Carolina.
  • For more information about safe storage, disposal and use of prescriptions, as well as where to find help for yourself or a loved one affected by opioid use disorder, visit www.JustPlainKillers.com or follow the social channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @PlainKillersSC.

REALTED: How to administer Narcan during an opiod overdose

RELATED: New SC bill would require overdose preventing drug to be co-prescribed with opiods