April 18, 2022 – Eliana Leve, director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s New York services, agreed: “Addictive behaviors are often linked to emotional and social deficits. The isolation and uncertainty during the pandemic exacerbated those deficits by taking away opportunities to experience social connectedness and personal growth.”

While not everyone is addiction-prone — “Based on individual predispositions and availability, some people tend to be more vulnerable to certain types of addictions than others,” said Seo — individuals who are have struggled especially the past two years.

In addition to robbing them of social opportunities, the pandemic has also interrupted the structure some had in place to mitigate temptations and manage stress.

“Daily routines provide solace, and when these routines are disrupted, they exacerbate depressive moods,” explained Alan Cavaiola, Ph.D., director of addiction studies at Monmouth University and the author of “A Comprehensive Guide to Addiction Theory and Counseling Techniques.”

Uncertainty only makes matters worse. “Anxiety tends to be future-focused, and no one knew how long the pandemic would last,” Cavaiola said, adding that many of his patients were also impacted when programs like Alcoholics Anonymous moved from in-person to virtual formats. “There’s a sense some weren’t getting as much from virtual meetings,” he said.


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