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Quarantine can spark new addictions, trigger old ones

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Posted at 8:53 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 15:16:29-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For those who struggle with alcohol or drug addiction, the new normal of staying home can be difficult.

13 HELPS: List of resources for Nevadans during coronavirus pandemic

“When they start to feel isolated, it’s very easy to relapse,” says Dr. Daliah Wachs.

Dr. Wachs says most people are now away from their usual routine and distractions by spending most of their time at home.

This can lead to loneliness and boredom, which can also prompt hidden addictions to come out.

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“A lot of us, we lost weight because we weren’t by the refrigerator, so, unfortunately, you have to work a little bit harder to avoid those triggers,” says Dr. Wachs.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates 15 million people in the United States have an alcohol-use disorder.

American Addiction Centers says during the lockdown, 40% of Nevadans are drinking alcohol from home while they’re working.

“If they do have to clock in, they think nobody is watching, they’re not worried about driving home, and the alcohol is there,” says Dr. Wachs.

And experts say the important thing is that there is help out there, and that it’s okay to ask for it.

“A lot of the vices will come because stress is the inducer,” says Matthew Cox, Never Give Up Wellness Center. "Stress will cause you to want to think about it, and it could be a high relapse for somebody.

Alcoholics Anonymous has closed their central office, but there are still some in-person and virtual meetings being held. Check their website for more information.

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