Healthy at Home: Fighting dependency issues amid coronavirus stressors

Healthy at Home: Fighting dependency issues amid coronavirus stressors

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Right now, many families are going through stressful times so it’s important to remember you’re not alone.

Among the many stressors of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak are job loss, added responsibilities, bills to pay and homeschooling for the kids. Licensed addiction therapist Bruce Lynch said for someone who already frequently turns to alcohol, smoking or a pill for quick relief, this could lead to a long-term addiction.

Lynch is a licensed practicing therapist at the Center for Counseling and Wellness in North Myrtle Beach. He said even too much social media and obsessing over life possibilities because of the coronavirus could take someone’s occasional habit of drinking, smoking, doing drugs or occasionally taking pills, and make it worse.

To avoid an addiction, Lynch said to try to replace the dependency with a holistic hobby. It can be whatever fits you and makes you happier, like a home project, painting, reading, or exercising.

Lynch gave tips on how to approach the conversation if you need to step in and speak with someone about their increased dependency.

“It’s a difficult conversation to have. You know, expressing heartfelt concern. You know, ‘I have some concerns about’ whatever recent drug of choice that they’re using. Come at them not in an angry way, just come at them in a loving (way). Keep that intention, because probably you’re not the first person to say something. They may have thought about it but come at them in a very loving way," Lynch said.

He also stated encouraging the person that they’ll get through this, they can do it and there are better ways to cope. Lynch added it’s important to stay in a position of influence through patience, tolerance and love.

“'You know I just want the best for you, I want the best for us. What can I do to help? Would you be willing to talk to somebody? Would you be willing to talk with a professional?’ Because you want to keep that relationship. You know, when you jump in and criticize and complain and nag, you decrease the ability to be of influence. The No. 1 position if you’re in a close relationship with somebody is stay in a position of influence," Lynch said.

Still, the therapist noted that depending on the drug of choice, quitting ‘cold turkey’ may not be an option, especially with alcohol or if the person has an underlying medical condition.

Lynch said to reach out to the person’s physician if they have one, or contact a licensed addiction therapist for the next steps. Quitting abruptly could pose a medical risk depending on the drug, he advised.

For information on the Center for Counseling and Wellness and/or to seek help, click here.

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