Concerned About COVID-19?  Why You Should Still Admit to Inpatient Treatment

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Concerns and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic (CDC, 2020) permeate our daily lives.  Much of the nation has some sort of shelter-in-place protocol that might limit travel.  These restrictions might leave you wondering if you should postpone seeking help.  The Ho Tai Way has taken extra precautions during this time to ensure the safety of our clients and staff.

Current Statistics of COVID-19

As of April 5, 2020, there are:

  • Total cases: 304,826
  • Total deaths: 7,616
  • Travel-related cases: 1,388
  • Close contact: 4,325
  • Under investigation: 233,566

Travel

The CDC (2020) noted several things to consider when traveling.  Addiction does not wait for the right time for recovery.  If you have been contemplating sobriety and need to travel for treatment at The Ho Tai Way, keep in mind the following guidelines from the CDC:

  1. Is COVID-19 spreading at your destination? Check the local healthcare agency for updated information.  The Orange County Healthcare Agency reported 882 total cases and 14 deaths from COVID-19 as of 4/6/2020.
  2. Will you be in close contact with others during your travel? If you are flying to come to treatment, you can minimize your risk.   Wash your hands, using a cloth to cover your nose and mouth, and maintaining a 6 ft distance from others when possible.  A cloth mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
  3. Are you more likely to get severe illness if you get COVID-19? The CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel for those with higher risk.  Traveling to enter an inpatient substance abuse treatment center is considered essential.
  4. Is COVID-19 spreading where I live when I return home? When you speak with your admission specialist, they will help you determine the length of your stay at The Ho Tai Way.

COVID-19 and Substance Abuse Risk Factors

Persons who use drugs or alcohol have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 (National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], 2020).  According to NIDA (2020), because COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system, those who smoke tobacco, marijuana, or vape are more likely to have lung damage making them more susceptible to COVID-19.  Persons who use opiates or methamphetamine are also vulnerable because of the effects on the lungs.  Opiates slow breathing and could cause a harmful decrease of oxygen in the blood (NIDA, 2020).  Methamphetamine constricts the blood vessels and can contribute to lung damage (NIDA, 2020).  The CDC (2020) has found that persons with underlying medical issues are at the highest risk of death from COVID-19.  Individuals with a substance use disorder are more likely to experience homelessness and incarceration.  These risk factors increase a person's chances of becoming infected with COVID-19.

Reasons Why You Should Seek Treatment

  1. Substance abusers could be at a higher risk of contracting a virus. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness spread from person to person through droplets from coughing or sneezing.  If you smoke, you are at a higher risk of respiratory infections.  The CDC (2020) warns that persons with underlying medical conditions are at risk for developing severe complications from COVID-19 illness.
  2. Detoxing alone can be dangerous. You might feel afraid of experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  During your detox, the staff will help you feel as comfortable as possible.  The Ho Tai Way detox program includes meeting with a physician to determine if you need medicine to help with the process.  We are here to help you through the withdrawal and detox phase.
  3. Addiction feeds off isolation. You are not in this alone.  The Ho Tai Way residential program offers support with groups, individual therapy, and experiential group therapy.  Our goal is your health, success, and your return to life.  With many shelter-in-place orders, you might feel isolated and alone.  There is no time better than the present to get your life back with the help from skilled staff and your peers.

Are Treatment Facilities Prepared for COVID-19?

Roy (2020) reported that over 23 million Americans have a substance use disorder, and only 10% seek treatment.  The American Society of Addiction Medicine ([ASAM], 2020) has issued clinical guidelines based on federal recommendations for treatment facilities.  Steps that treatment centers can take are disinfecting surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, counters, tables, chairs), and screen clients before arriving.  Roy (2020) noted the importance of community and connection in substance abuse treatment.  Social distancing may prove challenging in residential treatment.

What Enhanced Safety Practices Is The Ho Tai Way Doing Amid COVID-19?

The admission staff has additional screening questions during the pre-assessment to determine the risk of potential or incoming clients.  Current clients receive daily and confidential vital sign readings.  Our team has been trained on signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and know the protocol to keep our community safe.  In addition to the detailed cleaning regimen, we have added disinfecting measures.  Rest assured that your success is our success.

Should I Enter an Inpatient Treatment Facility?

So, the short answer to whether you should enter an inpatient treatment is yes.  Why wait?  You might have been contemplating getting sober for some time.  Admitting to a residential treatment like The Ho Tai Way is right for your health.  Since drugs and alcohol affect the systems that worsen COVID-19, get the help that you deserve to heal your mind, body, and spirit.

Accreditation

The Ho Tai Way is a JCAHO accredited treatment program, which means that we have undergone a strict accreditation process.  JCAHO (2020) stands for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and is responsible for monitoring cleanliness and the safety of health care providers.  The Ho Tai Way is proud to have earned the "Gold Seal of Approval."  Being JCAHO accredited means that we have met or exceeded industry standards in providing quality substance abuse treatment.

The Ho Tai Way REMAINS OPEN and committed to providing critical addiction treatment.  For information on Coronavirus (COVID-19), including symptoms, risks, ways to protect yourself, and our commitment to patient & staff safety.  We are an exclusive women’s only treatment center located in Costa Mesa, California.  Call us today to speak with a qualified admissions specialist at (714) 581-3974.

References

American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2020). COVID-19 Coronavirus. ASAM Home Page. https://www.asam.org/Quality-Science/covid-19-coronavirus

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. (2020, April 2). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. (2020). Homehttps://www.jointcommission.org/en/

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, March 24). COVID-19: Potential implications for individuals with substance use disorders. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) |. https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2020/03/covid-19-potential-implications-individuals-substance-use-disorders

Orange County Healthcare Agency. (2020, April 6). COVID-19 case counts and testing figures. Homepage | Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc

Roy, L. (2020, March 16). Addiction treatment facilities: Are they prepared for the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak? Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lipiroy/2020/03/16/addiction-treatment-facilities-are-they-prepared-for-covid-19/#1276a6c844ea