How COVID-19 is Affecting Drug Rehab

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of life for everybody across the globe. These changes can also be seen in the drug and alcohol treatment industry. This article explains some of the differences that you can expect to see if you are seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction during the pandemic.

Changes to Intake Procedures

The changes caused by COVID-19 can be seen immediately upon deciding to seek treatment, even before you have actually reached the facility. Many rehab facilities have made changes to the initial intake assessments.

The intake and assessment phase of a rehab program is the time during which you explain your addiction to workers at the facility. This process is designed to help make sure that you get paired with a therapist and a program that works well for you.

However, most rehab facilities have made a few changes to their intake procedure. Now, instead of just being asked questions about your mental health and addiction, you will be asked questions relating to COVID-19.

In most cases, these questions will relate to whether or not you were experiencing symptoms of sickness, or if you have traveled within the last several months. If you have traveled, workers will want to know whether or not you have completed your mandatory 14-day quarantine.

While these procedures are useful for helping to ensure that nobody brings the virus into the facility, they can also create some difficulties and confusion.

One of the reasons for this is because some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of withdrawal. Many withdrawal symptoms affect the respiratory system. A runny nose, fever, sweats, and other flu-like symptoms are common among people in withdrawal.

However, these symptoms can easily be mistaken for symptoms of COVID-19. This can lead either to people being misdiagnosed with COVID-19 and rejected from a rehab facility, or, it might lead to someone afflicted with COVID writing it off as simple withdrawal.

COVID-19 and Therapy

Another thing that may have changed as a result of COVID-19 is the way that rehab facilities approach to therapy.

One on one therapy may not change very much, depending on the facility. One on one therapy can be done relatively easily even accounting for physical distancing. However, for further safety, some facilities may prefer to offer individual therapy sessions online.

Physical distancing measures may also change the way that rehab facilities are approaching group meetings. The number of people attending these meetings may be reduced, or they may be canceled entirely.

Other Changes

A number of other changes may also be present at rehab facilities next to the COVID-19 protocol.

These are some of the most common changes to be expected.

  • Increased hygiene measures. People will likely be asked to wash their hands more frequently. Masks are likely going to be required in common areas.
  • There may be changes to the way that meals are prepared and distributed at inpatient rehab programs.
  • Visitation rights might be changed. Patients may not have the opportunity to visit as frequently with family members or friends, and they may not be able to see them at all. Outpatient rehab members may have difficulty if their rehab program is directly recording the number of people that they come in contact with.


While COVID-19 is affecting the way that rehab centers approach treatment, we can find solace in the fact that rehab is still available such as the drug rehab center San Diego . If you think you need treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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