As we look at mental health issues in May, we see references to how people deal with different mental health issues. One way that people of all ages have frequently used is to “drown their sorrows” with alcoholic beverages. During the early days of the pandemic, bars and restaurants were closed but liquor stores remained open. In Virginia, regulations that banned “to-go” alcoholic beverages have been lifted. According to the Centers for Disease Control, alcohol use disorders have increased during the pandemic. The national focus is on substance use disorders, particularly opioid overdose deaths. However, according to Dr. Stephen Loyd, a nationally recognized addiction treatment physician, alcohol use disorder is still the most commonly treated substance use disorder in US programs. treatment and recovery.
The East Coast Community Service Commission has clinicians, case managers, peer recovery specialists and programs to address mental health issues and substance use disorders, including to alcohol consumption. A Peer Recovery Specialist is someone with “lived experience” who has been trained to support those struggling with mental health, psychological trauma, or substance use. Their personal experience of these challenges provides peer support specialists with expertise that professional training cannot replicate. ESCSB Peer Recovery Specialists lead SMART recovery groups for ESCSB clients with substance abuse disorders. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. Peers lead groups at various ESCSB offices and at the East Coast Regional Jail in Eastville. For anyone living with an alcohol use disorder, please contact ESCSB at 757-665-5041 to inquire about same-day access services. For more information on mental health and addictions prevention, treatment and recovery services, visit www.escsb.org.