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DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: Coronavirus presents obstacles for those in addiction recovery

Posted at 3:18 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 20:17:52-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind lately, and while over a thousand deaths are being attributed to the virus, another health crisis has been affecting Americans for much longer.

“The CDC says that during the three month period that this virus began to spread, there's also been over 45,000 deaths from drugs and alcohol in the U.S. alone,” said Kathy Johnston of Valley Hope.

Johnston said the rehabilitation center is still working to save lives from addiction amid this crisis, albeit with a few changes.

“We are continuing to use social distancing,” she said. “We're continuing to be aware of those situations. Patients are encouraged throughout the day, monitoring that as well.”

The center not only works to treat the body, but also the mind, and as patients leave the residential center, they transition to outpatient treatment, which usually consists of group meetings and counseling.

According to Jill Nastase, the outpatient team is having to adjust during this time.

“It's so great to see that they do have those online meeting options. And that's been pivotal for our patients during this crisis,” she said.

Nastase encourages those who are finding themselves at home feeling overwhelmed and possibly triggered to utilize the resources available to them and reach out for help.