By Melissa Brewer
The COVID-19 has had far-ranging impacts on all aspects of life and the economy. With schools, restaurants, and gyms closed, perhaps permanently, life has been upended for millions.
Some of the most harrowing effects of this include things like divorce and increased drug use. Studies have shown that those who get regular physical activity are 30 percent less likely to get depression. However, the closure of gyms threatens even folks who would normally be quite active.
This can have cascading effects in all aspects of life, including marriages. Relationships are strained, sometimes leading to divorce in these troubled times.
One gym, called The Phoenix, is doing what it can to help people stay active and healthy in body and mind during the pandemic.
Addiction During the COVID-19 Pandemic
It is often in the early stages of recovery when people are most likely to relapse. Folks trying to break addiction habits need support to have the best chance possible at staying sober.
However, getting support is complicated in times when people need to stay apart or risk spreading a deadly virus. With divorce up and gyms closed, people are more alone than ever and that poses a significant risk in terms of their odds of recovery.
A survey by The Recovery Village looked at 1,000 adult Americans and how often they were using drugs in the past month. Respondents reported having used alcohol, marijuana, prescription opioids, benzodiazepines like Xanax, cocaine, and prescription stimulants like Adderall.
It wasn’t just that people were using these substances, however. It was that they were using them more. The survey found that 55 percent of people reported using more alcohol in the past month, with 18 percent saying they used “significantly” more, and 36 percent reported increased use of illicit drugs.
Why were people turning to drugs? Over half of survey respondents said it was to deal with stress. Another 39 percent were bored and 32 percent said they were trying to manage mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
All of this adds up to a dangerous situation, especially for recovering addicts. If they are experiencing additional stresses from the COVID-19 pandemic like divorce or financial trouble, they may be even more likely to relapse.
Using Health and Fitness to Combat Addiction
Luckily, there are some places trying to help. The Phoenix is a gym community with locations in 22 states. This gym specifically tries to help recovering addicts build a sober community so that they can stay on the right path and lead better lives.
Of course, this comes with some challenges during the pandemic. Due to restrictions, they are now offering things like live streaming and community challenges in lieu of in-person classes. They have national live streaming events as well as virtual programming based on location.
Even where in-person classes are allowed, they are sticking to regulations regarding social distancing and proper mask-wearing. All of this keeps their members safe while still allowing them to get the community and activity they need to be healthier and stay sober.
They strive to make this affordable by offering membership for the price of 48 hours of sobriety – that’s it. Beyond that, classes will vary in price depending on length, location, activity, and more.
No matter what your circumstances – from drug addiction to divorce to financial trouble – you can find something at the Phoenix to help. Maybe it is rock climbing. Maybe it’s community yoga. Maybe you have a stationary bike at home and can do cycling. The Journal of Public Health found in a study that cycling lowers premature mortality by up to 30 percent and lowers the risk of developing cardio-respiratory diseases by about 40 percent. However you choose to move your body, it can lead to great benefits for both your body and mind.
All of this adds up to a huge community impact. When someone is trying to cope with drug use, it can have a ripple effect in their life and even lead to things like divorce. That can suddenly make everything more complicated and stressful. In fact, more than 10 percent of couples say they divorced due to drinking or drug abuse.
Suddenly, you have to deal with divorce on top of substance abuse. Maybe you have real estate you have to untangle or custody to consider. All of this can be an incredibly heavy burden. It might sound strange to think that a gym could help, but the Phoenix aims to do just that. Those 48 hours of sobriety can start someone down a path that will change their life forever.
The gym has helped nearly 43,000 people in 22 different states try to regain their sobriety and their lives. The Phoenix faces additional challenges thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic but is still moving ahead with its mission through things like online classes and virtual community challenges.
This ability to keep a community together and supportive in tough times is a lifeline for many. Whether their main issue is drug use, divorce, financial trouble, or something else entirely, the Phoenix is a bright spot in a dark time.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 at 4:20 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.