Now, in addition to continuing overdoses due to opioids, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a further obstacle to those in recovery and recovery specialists like Scott Boyink.
Boyink, a longtime musician in Detroit’s indie and punk scenes, received a lot of local media attention, including here on CultureShift, for not only supplying Naloxone kits to local bars and music venues, but also for training staff on how to use them to save lives.
In spite of less public attention to the opioid crisis, it hasn’t gone away, Boyink says. “We’re seeing new challenges out there… new strains of synthetic opioids, new strains of heroin. It’s very dangerous stuff.”
“I just try to remind people that, like everything, this [pandemic] is temporary. Like your [addiciton] cravings, this is temporary, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” — Scott Boyink
When the pandemic started, Boyink says, there were a lot of rumors in the recovery community that help and treatment weren’t available. “That simply wasn’t true,” he says. “It may be virtual now, but help is available.”
WDET listener Budd in Livonia called in to say that the isolation of the coronavirus pandemic has made people he knows use more drugs and alcohol: “It doesn’t seem like there are many outlets right now to shift the focus off yourself and your misery,” according to Budd.
“The isolation and boredom are just crushing for some people,” Boyink says. “We can’t be in person, but help is available by phone, by telehealth… I just try to remind people that, like everything, this [pandemic] is temporary. Like your [addiciton] cravings, this is temporary, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Boyink says there are many resources available online for anyone struggling with addiction during COVID-19.