COVID-19 complicated the lives of many people who rely on regular medical services. With hospitals and doctors overbooked, many patients with chronic problems find themselves on the backburner. Among one of the overlooked populations is recovering addicts.
Those who suffer from substance abuse disorder were an especially vulnerable group experts had concerns over.
What is withdrawal?
Battling addiction is not anywhere near as some people make it out to be. Quitting “cold turkey” is not an option for most patients. There is an underlying biological component of the early steps of quitting.
A term you may hear is “withdrawal.” Every individual will experience withdrawal differently, and it will change as a function of what substance one is attempting to quit.
When it comes to opioid or opiate addiction, there are a few things someone expects when they quit.
- Dilated pupils
- The jitters
- Elevated heart rate
- Heavy breathing
- Runny nose
Withdrawal is much more than some random cold. Withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelming or even land people in the hospital. It’s incredibly easy to see how dealing with these physiological problems can tempt someone to relapse.
These factors demonstrate why support is such a crucial part of the healing process. Professional help from medical experts is essential.
There are times when access to a doctor is not feasible or safe. Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, disorganization and confusion made it difficult for patients to get all the help they need. Consultations were not easy to come by. Additionally, many public resources faced shutdown or intense limitations following pandemic requirements – leaving many patients without any help.
Impacts of telehealth
Experts needed to comply with rules while still providing assistance lead to the adoption of telemedicine in many communities. Telemedicine allows patients in need to connect with doctors despite restrictions. They can address concerns or seek support from doctors right from the comfort of their own homes.
Why telehealth needs to stay
Telehealth offers innovative ways for patients to connect with their physicians or councilors in real-time. In an industry surrounded by so much negative stigma and embarrassment, telehealth is the solution for delivering discrete service.
Beyond privacy, it’s a great way to contact professionals immediately without the need to leave the house with a pounding headache or nausea.
Now that the infrastructure is in place, it makes sense that we should continue the upkeep of these services to reach more people in more convenient ways. This strategy can save lives in the long run.
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