It’s ok to feel worried about going back into level two or three – remember that we have been here before, and we know how to get through it. And just like last time, you’re not going through this alone.
Ben Birks Ang, Deputy Director for the New Zealand Drug Foundation, advises “focusing on what you can do to keep well – you don’t have to be perfect right now. Stay connected with people who care about you and who can support you.”
“It is normal to feel stressed, worried, or bored during this time. Try not to let alcohol or drugs be the only way you deal with these feelings. Connecting with a friend or family member instead, or finding other ways of relaxing, will help you to build a range of ways to cope.”
It is safest not to use drugs, especially during a global pandemic. But if people do decide to use drugs, having good hygiene practices is important to reduce the chances of catching or spreading Covid-19. This could be actions like washing hands, using clean equipment, avoiding sharing, and minimising contact with others.
If you know someone who experiences addiction, reach out to check that they are in a supportive environment. Encourage them to get extra support if needed and set a time later in the week to check back in with a zoom chat or phone call.
“While we’re not aiming to be perfect right now - It is still okay to think honestly about your alcohol and other drug use, and it is still ok to have honest conversations with friends and family about their alcohol or drug use.”
Addiction treatment services are still available, and many will also be offering online support.
Survey participants also reported that barriers to accessing services, resources and information were high.
A group of powerful synthetic opioids that were first detected in the country just a year ago may have already been linked to several deaths.
95% of respondents reported positive effects, in a study that looked at both prescription and black market cannabis use.