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Local rehab center see's an increase in patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic affects those who are struggling with addiction.

“From COVID-19, it showed the need and necessity for treatment in general,” said Frankie Elliot, operations manager at Aspell rehab center in West Tennessee.

According to health officials, there is an increase in drug use and overdoses this year because of the covid-19 pandemic.

One of the scariest times was probably about a month and a half, two months into the COVID pandemic, we started noticing the uptick of overdoses,” said Elliot.

The coronavirus put treatments off for a few weeks.

“There was no place for people to go to, to receive not so much treatment services, but long term recovery services, and it limited that and caused a lot of relapses.”

Within two weeks, Aspell lost several patients.

“Eleven people had OD’d and died, that we knew, in a two-week period,” said Elliot.

Health experts believe the social limitations take a toll on those who are struggling with addiction.

“You don’t have your outlet to talk to other people to deal with the problems that are going on, plus the fear of the pandemic on top of that made it even harder to deal with life on life’s terms, that is really scary for an alcoholic,” said Elliot.

There is usually a three-week waiting list for those who seek addiction treatment, as, of today, that list is a bit different.

“Through the pandemic, they were trying to receive treatment, so that extended that list out so far, that it was almost impossible to get caught back up, and that’s what we are trying to do now,” said Elliot.

Elliot wants people to know their rehab center is a place for hope for addicts who are struggling during the pandemic.

“I mean, really, Aspell’s given hope to the hopeless,” he said.

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