April 1, 2021 – She said the correlation became clearer when checks rolled out. Some people relapsed or would stop showing up for treatment.

“Engagement specialists, recovery coaches, we start reaching out to these people even if that means going to their homes,” she said. “It’s a very difficult time right now.”

El Rio Medical Director of Specialty Behavioral Health Christina Arredondo said the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic continues to impact those with substance use disorders. “Have lost jobs, have lost insurance, and lack of insurance you can lose medical care. School closures, divorce, domestic violence. Everything has increased,” she said. She said the country’s overdose numbers have increased as well. “The monthly overdose numbers were never over a certain number. Like never over 6,300 and we had some months over 9,000,” Arredondo said. Addiction specialists want those who feel isolated know they’re not alone and help is available. “They say, I just felt hopeless. I didn’t feel like there was anybody there and I just want to let people know , there are so many agencies out there. We are there for you,” Fernandez said.

CODAC offers drug and alcohol recovery and has staff answering their phones 24/7 at 520-202-1786. Find more information about CODAC’s services, here. Learn more about El Rio’s mental health and substance abuse counseling, here.



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