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Slow reopening of Family Recovery Center

As the state of Ohio began to open up slowly this week, Family Recovery Center focused on its plan to open slowly while helping clients through, not just the Covid-19 crisis, but the opioid epidemic that has taken a back seat to the virus. The goal is public safety and the agency will operate under the specifications established by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

“Family Recovery Center will be slowly transitioning back to some semblance of normalcy by offering group services again by way of telehealth and a mix of in-person group sessions,” advises Mike Mazanowski, Chief Operations Officer at FRC. “FRC staff members will ensure that CDC guidelines are followed – staying at least six feet from other people and no large group gatherings. Masks will be worn by clients and staff in an effort to keep current clients and staff members save and well.

“Group rooms will be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly after each group session. With that being said, telehealth will continue to be utilized when possible. This will be a slow transition,” Mazanowski said.

Concerns about Covid-19’s effects on the opioid epidemic are of great concern. The strides made in the opioid crisis, not just in Ohio but across the nation, were moving in a positive direction until the virus shut down with shelter-in-place directives.

“Federal efforts to combat the longstanding opioid epidemic have already been side-lined by the government-wide scramble on coronavirus,” reports Politico magazine (April 10). “And in states hit hardest by the opioid crisis, there is growing trepidation that coronavirus will create a perfect storm that overwhelms already-stretch prevention and recovery offices and undermines years of progress.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) cites research links between social isolation and loneliness to poor mental health, “particularly among older adults and adolescents who already are at high risk of depression and suicidal ideation.”

Isolation, they advise, is associated with a shorter life span and a greater risk of illness, both physical and mental, and especially suicide.

Almost half of U.S. adults polled recently, “reported their mental health had been negatively impacted due to worry and stress with the virus.” How many are afraid the virus will strike their family? How many are worried about the repercussions of the pandemic?

The closing of schools hasn’t affected just education. Students also rely on meal programs – often the only food they have each day), physical, social and mental health services and peer contact. Between 2016 and 2018 more than one in 10 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 had depression and/or anxiety, KFF says. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among this age group and substance use is a concern as well, often occurring with other risky behaviors.

The concerns for mental and physical health run deep. FRC is taking the situation seriously because “we are in this together.” The doors will reopen on Monday, May 4. For more information, call the agency.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the web site at www.familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded, in part, by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

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