Treatment centers seeing increase in substance abuse during COVID-19 pandemic

Treatment centers seeing increase in substance abuse during COVID-19 pandemic

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - As coronavirus cases continue to rise, we know the pandemic can bring a lot of stress for families and especially for individuals facing substance abuse problems.

In Evansville alone, we have several resources for anyone who could be struggling during this pandemic.

We spoke with the Salvation Army last week who told us they’ve seen a huge increase in the people coming in and asking for help with substance abuse.

However, they aren’t the only ones seeing these numbers going up.

We reached out to the Brighter Side Treatment Center in Evansville who tells us they have also seen an increase in people coming in asking for help with their opioid addictions, saying many of these instances stem from the direct impacts of COVID-19. From job loss to layoffs, to being isolated at home and feeling lonely.

The good news is there is help available.

An interactive resource map released by the United Way and Mayor’s Substance Abuse Task Force led us to one treatment center that says no one should feel alone in these battles.

[Click here for substance use resources map]

“You’re not in it alone. All you need to do is pick that phone up and call us, 812-962-9020," said Brandon Smiley, the CEO of Brighter Side Treatment Center. "We’re going to be here to help you along the way. There are multiple resources we have available for yourself to overcome the addiction. Don’t let finances be an issue either. We’re here to support that need. We have many resources to help you.”

The treatment center tells us that stresses from the pandemic are likely to take a situation where someone was struggling and magnify it.

One man shared his story with us of how the pandemic impacted his sobriety.

“I got laid off from my job. I got bored. I had been sober for a year. I started using again because there was too much time on my hands," said Grant Butts. "You can get help. I didn’t think I could get help. But Suboxone has saved my life. I’ve OD’d plenty of times.”

Treatment centers seeing increase in substance abuse during COVID-19 pandemic

Copyright 2020 WFIE. All rights reserved.