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Addiction treatment services still available, even in-person, despite social distancing and COVID-19 precautions

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Posted at 6:16 AM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 20:13:42-04

CLEVELAND — Even during Ohio’s Stay At Home order and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, services are still available for people battling mental illness or addiction.

“By the nature of those services, people are vulnerable,” said Recovery Resources President and CEO Pamela Gill.

That’s why she and the rest of her Recovery Resources staff knew they’d have to find a way to still work with their clients through the coronavirus outbreak.

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Recovery Resources has been collecting food donations, or monetary donations for food purchasing, so they can distribute food to clients in need.

“We’re calling it business as unusual,” said Gill.

Most work is done over the phone, making sure clients are getting the resources they need and checking to make sure they’re felling OK.

For clients who are struggling to get food, donations are being delivered to their door, trying to hold them over as long as possible.

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A Recovery Resources Community Care Coordinator helps package the food that will later be delivered to clients.

“Social distancing leads to social isolation and social isolation is a condition that could exacerbate somebody’s mental health,” said Gill.

Maybe most importantly, even while in-person contact is limited, people in crisis can still walk through the door at Recovery Resources Pearl Road location.

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Recovery Resources says 98 percent of its clients are 200 percent below poverty level, so buying food in a national emergency can be an extra challenge.

The same is true at The LCADA Way in Lorain.

“Anybody coming to our door, including staff on a daily basis, will complete a screening that was designed by the CDC,” said LCADA Way Presidents and CEO Thomas Stuber.

With extra screening and social distancing within the office, LCADA Way is also still helping clients battling addiction in person, or when necessary, over the phone.

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"[Addiction] is a chronic illness and individuals who are addicted and not receiving the type of support and rehabilitation they need tend to return to use," said Stuber.

He says it’s especially important for organizations like his to keep working because groups like Alcoholics Anonymous aren’t meeting in person for now.

Libraries are closed, meaning some clients can’t get to virtual AA meetings online.

“This is a chronic illness and individuals who are addicted and not receiving the type of support and rehabilitation they need tend to return to use,” said Stuber.

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“People need to know that they’re not alone,” said Gill. “People need to know that we are there and we, truly from our hearts, care for them.”

“People need to know that they’re not alone,” said Gill. “People need to know that we are there and we, truly from our hearts, care for them.”

If you want to contact Recovery Resources, click here.

If you want to contact The LCADA Way, click here.