LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Rehab centers across the country have seen a big increase in people struggling with alcohol addiction during the pandemic.
Michelle McGinnis is chief clinical Officer for Landmark Recovery. Their center in Las Vegas just opened in December. She says their rehab centers across the country have been incredibly busy.
“We’re seeing more opioid use with alcohol now, or those that haven’t been using alcohol at an addictive rate are now using alcohol at an addictive rate. so That alcohol use has gone up tremendously,” McGinnis said.
McGinnis says the pandemic ‘fast-forwarded’ habits that normally would have developed over several years. It also made the battle much harder for those already in recovery.
“It’s already hard to ask for help, so when there were actual physical barriers to getting help it really didn’t help the situation. We would definitely see relapses that were more significant and quicker than they were,” McGinnis added.
McGinnis says there are a few red flags that indicate it’s time to get help. If you’re drinking more than you had planned, more often than you were using before, or for a longer period of time.
Another red flag is if drinking starts to interfere with your daily life.
“If we have negative consequences as a result of our use but we are still drinking, that’s a warning sign that the drinking has crossed that threshold,” McGinnis said.
The first step in getting help is removing shame and stigma. There are different levels of care for different people McGinnis suggests talking to trusted friends and family, exploring self-help groups, talking to a therapist, or visiting a rehab center.