Those looking for help with drug addiction are having a difficult time finding it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Evans, founder of Raw Addiction and a recovered addict himself, feels the drug epidemic is worse now during this pandemic, due to the lack of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and other addiction resource help. Hoping to help from home, Evans said that they are still doing their weekly podcasts and just started a new podcast to try to reach out even more.
“A lot of people out here are struggling, because when you’re trying to recover, or you are trying to get help, more so now, they don’t know who to turn to,” Evans said. “You can’t just go to a local NA group and say ‘hey I need help’ or a lot of people think because of social distancing, you can’t get in a detox or rehab at this time, and that is why we try to do our live videos. We try to tell people we can still get people in detox or rehab right now.”
Evans spoke of those that do not have internet or access to the podcast and that he felt that Spectrum and others that are giving people free internet for their children to do their homework also allow people to be able to access the podcast as well.
“A lot of these kids are stuck at home and both mommy and daddy are addicts. They have no out,” Evans said. “Then you got the kids who are abused that no one knows about and are stuck at home with, and this adds fuel to the fire. And then, you’ve got the addicts, according to the law can get out and mingle, meaning they can’t get their dope, so that adds stress to the household.”
On the Facebook page ‘Raw Addiction Through the Eyes of Recovery’ they have posted a very poignant statement, “Your child doesn’t understand addiction. They don’t care whether it is a choice or a disease; they want their mom or dad back.”
Evans continued, “It is tough times and with our podcasts, (I have five kids) and me and Aaron, Julie, Jessica, Alicia, we all have kids and we want to do these podcasts, but it’s hard with social distancing, not wanting to bring it home to our kids. We feel like part of the people that help with health care because without having someone to turn to or somebody to call when they are in those deep thoughts. The ‘I need to talk to somebody right now, or I’m gonna get high, my mind already set on what I want to do, if I can’t get a hold of this person or if they can’t come and intervene and take me out of this environment,’ then chances are the stakes go up. They are going to continue on that thought process, they are on to get high. I try to help those people who are overwhelmed, especially older people, we will come out and try to help them any way we can.”
Evans said they do try to do the podcasts across the room from each other, and they still have people coming in and telling their stories. He said they do this to try to get people upbeat and to show them something positive.
Evans wanted to make sure the public knew they are still able to make calls and get people in facilities, but the problem is that all the people that are in these places are stuck there too. They can’t take them to NA groups or other resource meetings. He also said that those guys that are stuck in treatment are overwhelmed too, they can’ t go anywhere. He said the worse part of this is that if these guys are not court-ordered, they are walking out.
“Whenever you’ve got a 30-day treatment or 60 or six months and they are stuck in a room and the only thing they are allowed to do is go into a group and some are not even allowed to do even that, they are going to walk out,” Evens said.
Evans talked about prison and some of the people who are in there for drugs and they too are stuck in their cells and can’t go to the meetings or watch the podcasts. Evans said that they are trying to encourage people in the community to do their podcast and tell their stories to help support those who are at this time struggling.
“It’s crazy how I started Raw Addiction two years ago and how many groups there were, then and to how many groups there are now,” Evans said. “There are so many Facebook lives now that it is great because a lot of these guys get into it for the competition and we try to say we are in this to save lives, bringing everybody together doing something for these people and that brings the message that there is hope after dope. It does get discouraging right now, with all that is going on.”
Evans said, “If you consider yourself a provider, addict or not, a lot of people look at addicts like they are no good, but if you consider yourself a provider, then you are going to worry about whether your family can make it without you there.” He said that this is a time where he feels it is important for these folks to be able to use a phone or have a phone so they can call and make sure everything is OK at home, so they don’t walk out. Evans continued, “It’s more than just bringing awareness, it’s about educating the community, if you’re a mother or father and you have no idea about addiction and your son is an addict, this is why we do this.” He was sure to add that the longer this goes on, the more frustrating it will be and that those folks will struggle even more.
Raw Addiction is presenting their podcasts every Saturday at 9 p.m.
“If we save one person today, it is better than we were doing when we were addicts,” Evans said.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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