PHILADELPHIA - Counselors and therapists are expressing concern about how people struggling with mental health and drug and alcohol challenges will emerge from weeks or months in isolation.
"Just like it was a shock to go from going to the office every day to working at home, it could be a shock from working at home every day and going back to the office," Devin Reaves, co-founder and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition, told FOX 29. "Really engaging in their vices at higher levels and I think is concerning. Alcohol withdrawal can be deadly because if people all of a sudden drinking all day and they have to go back to work, they may have a seizure that may kill them.”
As of people struggling with drugs, Reaves, said, "This is an especially difficult time for them. Overdose risk is up, relapses are happening more often because people feel disconnected from that safety net that has been there to help them."
And for those suffering with anxiety and depression, Dr.George James said, "A lot of people are changed and more we can embrace that change, talk about that change, or have support for them. We all can feel like it's okay."
Both experts say resources are available but the understanding and expectations of employers will be key in the transition.
"Some people are gonna be really excited, some people are going to be apprehensive, some people are gonna want to know is my job secure are you gonna treat me with fairness," Dr. James said.
The state has created a new toll-free support line. The number to call is 1-855-284-2494
If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line)CLICK HERE https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/ for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.
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