SC substance and alcohol abuse resources are modified, but still available during coronavirus pandemic

Updated: May. 13, 2020 at 10:55 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - We're all having to find a way to adapt to the stresses caused by the pandemic, but Sara Goldsby, the director at the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS ) says that quarantine and/or self-isolation can be especially tough on people dealing with substance abuse.

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"You know there's this old adage that, 'The absence of connection really leads to addiction,'" she said.

For many struggling with substance abuse and recovery, that's exactly the issue they're facing during this pandemic. Goldsby says they've seen about a 30% increase in EMS response to overdose in the last few months.

"Perhaps it is elevated because of the disconnection and the isolation," she said. "Those things really drive feelings of anxiety and depression, and fear and stress, and people often turn to substances or alcohol to alleviate those symptoms that really come along with those circumstances."

So what can you do if you or a loved one needs help?

Goldsby says while they've modified a lot of their resources, DAODAS has continued to provide recovery and treatment support throughout the pandemic.

"They've had to be altered somewhat with the circumstances," she said. "That being said, no services have entirely shutdown. The access to recovery services and access to treatment services have stayed up throughout the entire social isolation window."

These resources and more can all be found on the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services website, and Goldsby says if you or someone you know is in need of help...just reach out.

"It's important that everyone should know that services are available telephonically and by telehealth services," she said. "There is hope, and there is help."

Goldsby says DAODAS will be extending services further with the Department of Mental Health as they turn on a 24/7 crisis line so that anyone in the state can access counseling services for mental health or substance abuse at any time.

That official announcement is expected to come on Monday.

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