Lockdown, a subsequent measure of the coronavirus global pandemic has had many impacts. A new normal has had to emerge and be adopted, down to social distancing measures, and the need to protect the NHS and personal health.

However, in the midst of such efforts, mental health has been overlooked by many, ignoring the severity of such lockdown measures on the mind. As humans, we are tuned to socialise, experience physical engagement and encounter such relationships, healthy for our mental health. We’re also creatures of habit, where schedules and freedom are thrived upon.

Yet, both socialisation and freedom have been wiped from us, down to lockdown restrictions, increasing the development of unhealthy relationships and habits surrounding substance abuse, escape-led stimuli, and addictive experiences.

Addiction and lockdown are a damaging pairing for many, for those with pre-existing symptoms of addiction, and for those who’ve turned to the support of negative coping strategies throughout lockdowns.

Yet, it’s understandable why addiction rates have increased, down to the inaccessibility of treatment, and down to the effects that loneliness, dysfunctional routine, and a lack of purpose have on the mind.

If you’re struggling with initial symptoms or relapsing in lockdown, please do not be ashamed. This unprecedented time has resulted in unexpected and uncontrollable experiences.

Yet, as freedom begins to return, your personal control can also revert, through addiction-led treatment services. At Ocean Recovery, we’re here to share how impactful such retrains have been, along with the accessibility of treating addiction during lockdown.


The effects of lockdown

Lockdown in itself sounds invasive and controlling. While we’ve had the freedom to spend our time within our personal homes, surrounded by those we live with, freedom in itself has stopped there.

The first lockdown of the pandemic, looking back, has been defined as the easiest, down to the time of year, down to the novelty of change, and down to unknowingly forecasting the seriousness of covid-19.

However, as we experience a taste of freedom, soon grasped by further lockdowns, such change has spiked mental health issues, has increased suicide rates, has boosted drug and alcohol misuse, and has caused a crisis in itself.

Staring at the same four walls can be tough. Such an environment can in fact trigger old habits and can also trigger new emerging habits. Experiencing restraints on relationships and engagement can be tough.

Encountering the financial implications of lockdowns can be tough, causing anxiety, worry and emotional turmoil. Waiting for news, for change and for some positivity can be tough. In one way or another, the involuntary situation of a lockdown, which we’ve all experienced has caused tests, challenges and loss.

For some, the freedom of time has promoted the positives of lockdown. However, for those with pre-existing mental health issues, those with existing symptoms of addiction, those who’ve encountered the lows of the pandemic, and those who are lonely, such restraint has triggered personal battles, which we all hope can soon diminish.


Treating addiction during lockdown

Addiction and lockdown are a difficult mix, as treating such health issues in the midst of constraints has been tough. The majority of focus and investment have been placed on protecting the NHS, providing PPE and promoting social distancing measures. Through that focus, the accessibility of addiction treatment and mental health therapy has reduced, causing strain for those with pre-existing issues.

While many parts of our world have come to a halt, treating addiction during lockdown should have been a necessity. Those with symptoms of addiction have been forced to self-regulate, deal with emotional triggers and environmental triggers, and maintain their own mental health, which can all be very tough while out of routine and surrounded by anxiety and scaremongering.

Such consequences have caused such a damaging relationship between the rates of addiction and lockdown restrictions, showcasing how vital future treatment and funding should be within the addiction recovery realm.

If you’ve struggled to obtain treatment, self-help tips can be useful to reduce the prevalence and strength of addiction symptoms. The management of addiction can help to ease the constraints of lockdown, up until normality, and with that scheduled treatment can return.


Addiction and lockdown – a damaging relationship

The development of new addiction symptoms is the result of lockdown. Relapsing is also a common result of lockdown. Experiencing aggravated symptoms is a result of lockdown. Increased suicide rates are a result of lockdown.

Lockdown’s forced environments, lack of routine, reduced normality, increased loneliness, and subsequent consequences of covid-19 have increased substance abuse rates, increased the need for coping strategies, and disrupted recovery for many addicts.

Those within the recovery process, prior to lockdown, have experienced a pause in treatment, which can contribute to relapse risks. Those with new symptoms linked to addiction have had to suffer alone down to such inaccessibility. This is concerning, as the impacts of lockdown are recognisable, increasing addiction rates across different demographics.

It’s vital that focus is placed on the relationship between addiction and lockdown, as the future cannot be forecasted, where further lockdown measures may be experienced. Such focus should increase the awareness of and the necessity of consistent addiction treatment, working alongside the efforts of covid-19 treatment.

Without combined efforts, the crisis of addiction and mental health development will begin to outweigh the loss of covid-19, questioning the viability of lockdown measures.


Overcoming the effects of lockdown

If you’re struggling through the effects of lockdown, please be aware that help is still available. It’s understandable that you may feel like you’ve taken two steps back, down to paused treatment. However, if you’re a recovering addict, you can restart treatment and work towards recovery.

If you’re newly experiencing symptoms of addiction, treatment will also be accessible, to help you start your recovery journey, even if lockdown measures continue.

Treating addiction during lockdown should be a priority, down to the already recognised correlation between addiction and lockdown. In order to protect sufferers and to reduce such correlation, here at Ocean Recovery, we’re here to help.

Managing lockdown with professional support, treatment and a healthy schedule is doable. Yet, such services should be available to you as a standard, to save the mental health of our nation, not just the physical.

By keeping a dry house, maintaining virtual connections, sourcing remote treatment, gauging personal triggers, and by managing such triggers, manoeuvring through addiction and lockdown can be possible with our support.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: March 15, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.