COVID-19 pandemic making drug addict treatments struggle, local addiction treatment center says

PITTSBURGH — So many of the things that people struggling with addiction need on a daily basis have been taken away from them because of the pandemic.

For workers at the Jade Wellness Center on the South Side, the drug abuse epidemic has never taken a backseat.

But the director of the Jade Wellness Center, Daniel Garrighan says, “I thought I’d seen everything but then it was just like you know things went sideways.”

Garrighan says because of the pandemic a lot of the resources people struggling with addiction need have become virtually nonexistent. “We’re telling people to isolate right? And we’re telling people to quarantine right? And this is everything which we needed to do, but for an addict coming out of inpatient treatment , that’s against the grain.”

Because of this struggle, Daniel says in upwards of the 1000 clients they’ve treated since the pandemic started he has seen a “tremendous” amount of relapses and overdoses.

While the struggle is real, Daniel wants people with addiction to know that their problems are noticed and help is out there. Another resource besides the Jade Wellness Center is a statewide campaign called “Life Unites Us” which has made an effort to destigmatize addiction, but has also provided help for those struggling. The director of pain medicine at the Allegheny Health network says it is crucial.

Director of Recovery Medicine Dr. Mark Fuller says, “Campaigns like this can help make the facts get out there And help reduce the stigma around it and encourage folks to get help.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction here is a link to the “Life Unites Us” website: https://wpxi.tv/3zRlypd