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Supporting Substance Use Recovery During COVID-19

Man on cell phone

The recovery process is a journey that looks different for everyone, but social connection is a common necessity. During this time of physical isolation and social distancing, it is important that our loved ones in recovery from substance use disorders (SUDs) remain connected and supported, now more than ever. Social isolation is tough for everyone, but it can be dangerous for people with SUDs and people in recovery by increasing the risk of relapse and overdose.

Help Is Still Here

The good news is that help is still here. SUD treatment and recovery support is available, even if it looks a little different right now. Local treatment providers are using telehealth methods to provide ongoing access to counseling and medications. Recovery meetings are still happening online on virtual platforms, and certified recovery specialists can still provide individualized social support.

Where to Find Help

  • If you have an opioid use disorder and are interested in receiving medication to assist recovery, contact the Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Center of Excellence by calling 717-544-1427. You can also access counseling services with
  • Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health behavioral health counseling by calling 717-735-7454.
  • The RASE Project has a team of certified recovery specialists. Contact them at 717-295-3080. You can find a list of online recovery meetings and other resources here. 
  • To find other options for treatment, recovery support, or support for loved ones, you can contact Compass Mark at 717-299-2831 or visit their website here.

Coping with Anxiety

For practical recommendations about coping with anxiety, see this Health Hub post.

Be Prepared in Case of Emergency

If you or someone you know is at risk for an opioid overdose, it is important to have naloxone (such as NARCAN® Nasal Spray). Naloxone is a safe medication that can stop an opioid overdose. You can get naloxone at most local pharmacies with or without a prescription from your doctor. If you do not have insurance or cannot afford the copay, we have multiple locations in Lancaster County where you can obtain free NARCAN® Nasal Spray. Find the full list of locations here. To limit the risk of COVID-19 infection and overdose for people who use drugs, you can find safety strategies here. 

Check In!

We all need connection and support. We also must take an intentional approach to support our friends, family, and neighbors in recovery. Reach out and check in with your loved ones in recovery. Reach out to families in recovery. Remember that help is still here. We will get through this together. 

To learn more about Lancaster County Joining Forces, opioid safety, overdose prevention, and other community resources, visit LancasterJoiningForces.org.

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Julia Ressler, MSW, MPH

Julia Ressler, MSW, MPH is a Health Promotion Specialist at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, Project Coordinator of the SAMHSA FR-CARA Naloxone Distribution & Recovery Initiative, and Coordinator of Lancaster County Joining Forces. 

Call: 717-544-3138

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.

 

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