LOS ANGELES - While staying indoors and self-quarantining can be effective in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, isolation can be particularly dangerous for people in recovery and those struggling with addiction.
Jersey Shore's Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and his wife Lauren speak to patients in recovery centers across the country because they have personally been affected by addiction.
"I’ve had many rock bottoms. I was dependent on prescription drugs," said Sorrentino.
"My younger brother Christopher died of an overdose when he was 25 years old," said Lauren.
Because of the pandemic, becoming sober is that much more difficult. They have to stay in isolation like all of us. The fear is recovering addicts will relapse without the community and accountability often required to stay clean.
"Recovery is a one day at a time. It is not owned it's rented and the rent is due every single day when it comes to sobriety," said Sorrentino.
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Many addicts have compromised immune systems due to prolonged drug use. It's also extremely dangerous to detox at home. Up to 25% of people who try to detox on their own will die trying.
"It's really important you reach out to a facility that can take you in if you are going through withdrawals," said Lauren.
Doctor Lisa Steele, CEO of Clare Matrix
Doctor Lisa Steele is the CEO of Clare Matrix in Santa Monica. They are one of the few treatment centers still taking on patients.
"The reason we are doing so is because the likelihood of someone dying from their addiction is much greater than the likelihood of them dying from COVID-19,” said Dr. Steele.
Using online resources can be crucial to saving your life. The Betty Ford Center just expanded its virtual services with a new program called Recovery Go and 75% of their patients are now using it during their treatment. Many addiction experts stressed the importance of asking for help if you feel tempted to use drugs or alcohol while you’re stuck at home for days on end.
Here are some useful resources: