While the world continues to struggle with the war against the coronavirus, the war on drugs and alcohol continues to be fought. As people continue to try and find ways of taking their minds off of the stress from COVID, some are reverting back to bad habits including the usage of drugs and alcohol.
Local law enforcement and counselors have been fighting to keep those that were formal drug or alcohol abusers from going back to their bad habits. But with limited resources and the stress that continues to arise from the pandemic, the chances for those to relapse get greater by the day.
“We are certainly having a lot of alcohol related events and our drug arrests are on the average or a little higher than compared to where they were this time last year,” Cory Lee, sheriff of the Stark County Sheriff Department, said. “Obviously there’s people out there that have a lot of time on their hands and some may have a little extra money so that can be a recipe for danger with a recovering addict.”
For Perry Smith, the CEO/founder of Awareness Diversion Alternative Prevention Training (A.D.A.P.T.) believes that the main problem coming from the rising in relapse is not from COVID itself, but from the stress and anxiety it brings to everyone.
“I’m not contributing to the pandemic to this problem, what I'm contributing to the pandemic that has increased the stress levels of the people who are not able to learn how to entertain themselves in a healthy way,” Smith said. ”The substance abuse counseling facilities located throughout the state of North Dakota, including Dickinson. “If they don’t know how to entertain themselves in a healthy way, they will do it with chemicals or other things that are harmful to them.”
Smith added, “Generally speaking, we’ve been dealing with all kinds of stress related activities such as meth, heroin, alcohol, marijuana on a continuous basis. We have seen a little bit of an increase in cases this past week and a half, and I truly believe that the people that lack the skills of finding entertainment in their life are turning to drugs and alcohol.”
A.D.A.P.T.’s main headquarters is located in Bismarck, the facility currently has a facility located within Dickinson and is helping bring awareness and help to those in need of tips of not reverting to drugs or alcohol.
“We try and give them tips, such as going out to eat, spend time with the family, playing cards, go for a walk or a drive if you can, play board games, you can have a lot of fun with, play with the family and friends and while you’re doing that you’re able to talk and have therapy sessions that way.”
Both Smith and Lee stated they will continue to give help to those in need and if a person comes to either the Stark County Sheriff Department or the A.D.A.P.T. facility, charges will not be brought to those in seek of need and will help them get the help they require.