Alcohol and drug addiction has risen 13 percent, and overdoses have spiked, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Substance abuse problems have roots going back thousands of years, but the traumatic isolation and extra stress created by the COVID lockdowns, and widespread unemployment seems to have brought about this recent increase.
Addiction can happen to anyone, in any walk of life, and, sadly, we’ve all had friends or loved ones affected by this terrible disorder.
In addition to alcohol and drug use, anxiety and depressive disorders have almost tripled, and more distressingly spousal abuse, child abuse, and even suicides, are on the rise.
Add to all of the above, the financial strain of the economy, and we have a tremendous mess.
It is estimated that 71 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty before this pandemic is considered over. People were already struggling to afford or access basic health care before the pandemic hit.
It is a depressing time, and people from all nationalities and all walks of life are being affected.
However, drugs and alcohol are not the answer. Using those things will not take away the problems or stress. If anything, it will only add to the problems.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addictions, call 1-800-662-4357 or 1-800-729-6686. Get help today, before you or your loved one becomes another statistic.
If you are dealing with anxiety or depression, make an appointment and speak to your doctor. Go outside and get some fresh air, sunshine and exercise. Take a walk out in nature. Sometimes just getting outside and breathing fresh air can make a world of difference.
If you are having a mental health crisis, call 606-864-2104.
For help with spousal abuse/domestic violence, call 1-800-755-5348.
To report abuse/neglect of a child, call 606-330-2192, or call the child abuse hotline at 1-800-752-6200.
For help with suicide prevention, call 1-800-928-8000.
For more contact numbers, you can go online to http://whitleycountyhealthdepartment.com under Resources, and download the Whitley County Community Resource list.
Everyone is struggling with the way things are right now with the pandemic, and it may be tough for a while, yet. Please don’t be ashamed to ask for help.
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On a happier note, at our house, we have started rewatching the Andy Griffith Show, on Netflix, from the first episode, which aired October 3, 1960.
We have seen most all the episodes at some point in our lives, but we could still watch them several more times without ever tiring of the show.
If you’ve never watched the Andy Griffith Show, I recommend it. The sitcom shares little life lessons hidden inside short 25-minute episodes, where writers sprinkle in a bit of silliness, (mostly with Barney), with some kindness and forgiveness. It makes for some “feel good” entertainment, unlike most things that are shown on TV these days.
Andy, who is the Sheriff and Justice of the Peace of a sleepy little town called Mayberry, steps into many situations becoming the problem solver, advisor, mediator, counselor, etc., but sometimes even he admits that he is capable of being wrong, when proven so by his small, innocent son, Opie.
If more people watched good wholesome entertainment like the Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, and Andy Griffith, it might give them better ideas of how to conduct their own lives.
I never could understand why some people told me they didn’t like watching Andy Griffith. That’s like saying you don’t like baseball, hot dogs or ice-cream.