We interviewed María Quevedo, a member of the Fundación Recal therapeutic care center.
Addictive disorders are part of the most dangerous and harmful pathologies, since their effects extend to all areas of a person’s life, and even affect the social circle close to those who have developed dependence.
This class of health alterations causes the person to focus more and more on the need to perform a single type of behavior, that aimed at satisfying the addiction. That is why the context of the coronavirus pandemic can greatly alter both the mood and behavior patterns of those who have fallen into addictive dynamics.
To better understand this interaction between addictions and the pandemic crisis, we have interviewed María Quevedo, a member of Fundación Recal.
Interview with María Quevedo: addiction therapy in times of coronavirus
María Quevedo de la Peña is a health psychologist and Director of Treatment at Fundación Recal, an entity specializing in the treatment of addictions and which has facilities in Majadahonda, Madrid and Pozuelo de Alarcón. She has more than 20 years of experience in the field of care for people with addictions, and in this interview she gives us some of the keys to understand the detoxification process and the prevention of relapses in the context of the coronavirus crisis.
How has Fundación Recal adapted to this new coronavirus crisis scenario? Are all new patient therapy support programs available again?
We have made a great effort to be able to continue treating both patients and their families. For this we have “shielded” Recal preventing the virus from entering here, we have taken all the necessary sanitary measures and it has not been possible for the patients to leave or their relatives to enter.
We have all made a great effort and today we can say that we are proud of the result obtained, because at no time has the treatment been interrupted.
For a few days we have already opened the possibility of new admissions, always asking for the necessary tests and measures to ensure that new people are free of COVID-19
From the point of view of people who already had addictive disorders before the start of the year, what does it mean to spend a season in a confinement situation?
The consequences of confinement have been somewhat surprising, as some people have stopped consuming by being away from their usual environment without needing any other type of help, while others have done is to increase the consumption of their substance / drug behavior. choice.
What confinement has done is to show the existence of a problem in their family environments, since the consumption that took place on the street or with friends and was diluted in the sight of family members, in confinement has become clearly visible.
Assuming that these weeks of confinement are going to trigger a lasting economic crisis, and that job insecurity and poverty expose more to certain disorders, does this mean that the number of people with addictions in Spain will probably increase?
Possibly yes. The competent bodies should make a great effort in prevention at the present time and try to offer quality treatment to those who need it. From Recal we will do our bit to offer both.
Does the fact that we have been forced to stay at home make some people more likely to develop addictions? And if so, can leaving confinement contribute to many of these incipient addictions disappearing without the need to seek professional help, just by changing habits?
In addiction there are three phases: use, abuse and dependence. If what occurs during confinement is abuse, it could disappear spontaneously, that is, as you say, simply by changing habits.
But if what develops is an addiction, we are talking about something much more serious that does not disappear only with changing behavior or habits, but persists beyond them and that in many cases needs another type of intervention, and sometimes another kind of professional.
What is an entity like Fundación Recal doing to make it easier for people with a history of drug use not to relapse due to the discomfort generated by these turbulent times?
We maintain our groups and also some groups that we call post-treatment, in which we continue to provide support and follow-up to our patients. We have carried out these groups in person when possible and online when not, maintaining their motivation to continue abstinence by offering them the same tools as always.
If a second wave of infections occurs again and it is necessary to return to confinement, what must families who live with a person with addiction problems take into account?
For the family, this situation is very complicated, they should know how to set limits if necessary and ask for professional help in cases that require it.
It would be convenient for them to pay special attention to control behaviors and their tendency to try to solve the problems and consequences that consumption has had on their family member.