Relink.org wants to do what we can to get the word out about the impacts COVID-19 is having on recovery, the incredible work that is being done on the front lines, and any other resources or information we can share.
Last week we shared a story about Hope Over Heroin, the challenges they are facing during this time and their incredible work to provide peer support and case management to those struggling with addiction. This week, our story comes from a treatment provider in Middle Point, Ohio, Ridgeview Hospital. Ridgeview hospital offers detox, inpatient, and medication assisted treatment for those with mental illness, substance use disorder, and co-occurring disorders at their 84 bed facility.
Due to the COVID-19, Ridgeview has implemented multiple protocols and screening procedures based on CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of their staff and clients. The biggest challenge they are facing however is that they have seen a huge reduction in admissions.
When talking with Ridgeview’s admissions director Jennifer Chavarria earlier this week, it became clear that this was concerning. They “are usually at capacity” Chavarria said and Ridgeview is not the only provider we have heard this from. We have heard reports of multiple other treatment providers that are experiencing low admissions and some that are even concerned about their ability to remain open.
Our biggest question of course is why are these admissions so low? We would love to believe that less people need treatment, but with the increased unemployment and isolation during this time, that is not likely. Making the decision to seek treatment does not come easily, and when you add the fear of catching the Coronavirus on top of that, it may be even more difficult.
Other potential contributing factors are that people are less visible, there may be less contact with law enforcement, friends, and family who encourage seeking treatment. Others may feel a sense of hopelessness due to fear surrounding the current crisis or a lack of awareness that places are still open and offering care.
This factor of not knowing where to get help is one relink.org is specifically working to address. We want to do whatever we can to spread the word that hope and help is out there! That is why were were so excited to hear from Ridgeview Hospital and learn that they wanted to start updating their bed capacity daily on relink.org.
Ridgeview wants everyone to know that they are still open and have beds available. If you want to get in touch with them or see what their current availability is, you can do so by checking out their provider page on relink.org.
In addition to working with providers to update capacity on the relink.org search tool, we are also posting weekly bed capacity updates to our Facebook page with any provider who has openings. If you are a provider and would like to start updating your capacity for our next update, start by creating a free account today!
We want to continue to build awareness about these impacts and see how we can help, so if you have any stories of how COVID-19 is impacting recovery, thoughts, or comments…
About the Author
Bethany Friedrichsen is the Statewide Coordinator for relink.org. She has a background in psychology and has been working for the past three years in the addiction recovery and reentry space to create connection for people in need to the caring resources in their community.