It’s ok to feel worried about going back into level two or three – remember that we have been here and got through this twice before. Just like those last two times, you’re not going through this alone.
Ben Birks Ang, Deputy Director for Programmes at the NZ Drug Foundation, advises people to “focus 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.”
Programme Lead, Tumokai Morgan suggests “getting in touch with someone who cares about you. Let them know how you are going. You can try other ways of relaxing too like reading that book you’ve been leaving for later, getting stuck into that series you’ve been saving, taking up that hobby that you’ve been holding off for a while. It can help shift your focus away from doom scrolling”.
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.
Addiction treatment services are still available, and many are 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.