As we move into July, we continue to live in a world of uncertainty: Racial injustice continues; it is unclear whether children will return to school in the fall; and communities are feeling the economic realities of the pandemic.
All of these concerns impact our mental health and the process of recovery.
“Healing is not linear” is often heard when we speak of recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life and strive to reach their full potential.”
Recovery is compromised when access to treatment and support have been limited, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staying home can result in isolation, especially for those recovering from substance abuse.
Missing support groups, doctor visits and other community supports creates distance from care and can negatively impact recovery. It is important to remember that addiction can affect anyone and that help is available.
Addiction does not differentiate by race, age, religion, social economic status, sex or neighborhood.
Shelby County saw a spike in suspected overdose events in May. Data prepared by the Shelby County Health Department, Bureau of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, indicates 175 suspected drug overdose-related deaths as of June 6. Know Your Script is a great resource for understanding the opioid epidemic in Shelby County.
Where do I start if I am struggling or my loved one is struggling?
The Methodist Healthcare Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has counselors available to help navigate the treatment journey. If the EAP benefit is not accessible for your loved one, other resources are available.
Find Treatment SAMHSA or Tennessee Redline can assist in the referral process for treatment. Other options include self-help groups including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). If you are looking for support due a loved one’s substance abuse, more information can be found at Memphis AL-ANON.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness," Bishop Desmond Tutu, the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner, once said.
Where do you see the light in your life? Asking for help is the important first step to recovery. Talk to a trusted person and call the Methodist Healthcare EAP for free, confidential counseling at 901-683-5658.
At this time, EAP is only offering telehealth visits.
Help is available for everyone
If your employer doesn't offer EAP services, the Living Well Network is here to help.
LWN connects people to behavioral health resources, educates people about mental health and advocates for more communication and resources for mental health.