A new approach is needed to tackle addiction and mental health in a post-Covid world

There is a mental health crisis brewing now that far exceeds the Covid pandemic. People with mental health issues brought on by substance abuse are being ignored as governments spend billions on Covid health and relief measures.

An urgent and new approach is needed to combat addiction in the mentally ill, who are losing the battle against drug addiction. The number of drug addiction deaths has risen alarmingly, surpassing the 100,000 mark in the United States alone in 2021. Data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics shows an almost 30% increase in deaths by drug overdose.

Look at addiction with a new set of eyes

Founder and CEO of The Resilient Mind Network, Nelson Quinones believes that a new approach to how we think about, look at and deal with addiction is urgently needed: “Addiction is not caused by drugs. It is caused by unresolved trauma and shame. As long as we blame the victim, we can never find out the real cause,” Quinones said.

Life coach, motivational speaker, host of the “Beautiful Ironies” podcast, and author of his new book: “Four Into Twelve Gives Three,” Quinones talks about addiction from experience. He is a crystal meth addict and HIV survivor, who has managed to conquer his demons and become a certified life coach, helping others overcome their sources of shame and fear, especially regarding the addiction.

Through his Resilient Mind Network, he helps others like him through the maze of addiction, mental health and anxiety by providing a place where people can access helpful resources, feel empowered with messages positive and interacting with others, and gain insight into the complexity that is their addiction.

Addiction: a complex biological and social problem

Studies have shown that substance use disorders are actually chronic medical conditions involving the disruption of key brain functions – indicating the complex, yet formidable link between mental health issues and addiction. Addiction has complex biological and social factors that affect and exacerbate psychological problems. It’s made even more complicated by the fact that most sufferers show different actions and reactions to substance use.

Prevention: a step in the right direction

In the United States, there are many well-intentioned, principled prevention programs and policies. A good prevention program should improve protection and reverse or reduce the risk of addiction. It should include concise resources to educate people against all forms of drug addiction and abuse, including legal substances.

Most importantly, any program should succinctly address the exact needs of the community it serves. Essentially, more money should be spent on prevention programs because they have been shown to facilitate recovery.

Help with recovery: a crucial necessity

Access to services that support recovery is key to successfully overcoming addiction and mental health issues. Resources such as Quinones’ Resilient Mind Network are easily accessible online and assistance is readily available for those in need.

Long-standing recovery support programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and various counseling centers are still in need of financial support and hope to secure additional funds as Covid expenses run out. These services have been proven to help recovering drug addicts and people with mental illness achieve and maintain long-term wellness.

A holistic approach

Holistic approaches to addiction and mental illness are gaining popularity in the United States, primarily due to non-medicinal recovery methods employed by practitioners and support counsellors. Holistic addiction therapies involve focusing on an individual’s well-being, aiming to align mind, body, and spirit. It complements traditional treatment practices that involve exercise, meditation, and carefully considered nutrition.

Holistic rehab programs incorporate “whole being” philosophies to target an individual’s exact pain points. Over the years, holistic treatment regimens have become extraordinary sources of support for addicts and people with mental illness.

“The mental health crisis in America is at an all time high and the prevalence of overdoses is rising to such an alarming degree. Current treatments simply don’t work and funding isn’t available to the extent it should be. be,” Quinones said. “My holistic approach to self-improvement and healing has produced great results in treating addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Holistic therapy has definitely worked for me,” he added.

Why is funding a problem?

In the United States, treatment programs have traditionally relied on concise funding streams consisting of block grants, Medicaid reimbursements, and government funds. These are intended to provide treatment in the context of needs and associated services such as vocational training and supply, child protection services and criminal justice.

The main challenge faced by resource centers and treatment service providers is the additional problems that arise from treatment. People need housing, child care, protection, medical care and jobs. Although public funds are available for these services, they are often insufficient and providers often have to rely on private funding sources and donations.

One last thought

There is no greater resource than the knowledge and experience of a recovering person. People like Nelson Quinones have helped reach those in need, using digital media and literature to provide access to much-needed information and care. As the world slowly returns to normal, the hope is that the focus will once again be on those in need of real help.

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