Alcohol Abuse & Alcohol Rehab in The Age Of Covid

There are so many sad aspects to the Covid 19 pandemic. Separation from loved ones, loss of loved ones, loss of the sense of smell and even harder, psychologically perhaps, the loss of the sense of touch from hugs, handshakes and other forms of human contact we have taken for granted and need so much. Hopefully vaccines and therapies can restore a sense of normalcy in the restoration of meeting these needs. But many lasting effects have already emerged from this crisis that vaccines cannot fix.

What may prove to be one of the most lasting of these is a spike in alcohol abuse that is as startling as it is frightening to contemplate. According to the Journal of American Medical Association alcohol consumption spiked 54% in the week of March 2020 and online sales of alcohol increased 262% !This trend has continued unabated and the result will be a spike in alcohol use disorders greater than we have seen in this nation since the inundation of alcohol abuse in the 19th century.

What is especially challenging about this fact is that three dynamics interplay to reduce a coordinated response to meet and defeat the problem:

  1. A chronic shortage of trained substance abuse counselors, with the field already over taxed in meeting needs pre-covid 19 and,

  2. Alcohol rehabs facing the dilemma of how to provide services that are safe in the midst of a disease that has now taken the lives of over 300,000 Americans.

  3. Adherence to the outdated modes of alcoholism treatment programs in the United States that require 28 days of inpatient care in hopes to achieve a recovery that alludes most within the 1st year alone following their stay in an alcohol rehab.

All of this has left me increasingly convinced of the value of the ReNova Method for alcohol rehab. Here is why:

  1. A broad spectrum of counselors could easily be trained in the use of ReNova. In fact, therapists and counselors with greater exposure to some of the advanced techniques used in ReNova could prove to be more, not less, adept at the application of ReNova than most more narrowly trained addiction counselors. And while there is a shortage of addiction counselors, there is a highly available supply of more general counselors in the mental health field.

  2. ReNova is a process that is strictly one on one, reducing the potential for exposure and infection that will not fully abate even with vaccines.

  3. ReNova has shown to be much more effective as an alcohol rehab process than traditional American alcoholism treatment programs, based on 12 step approaches. In fact, ReNova appears to be the biggest breakthrough in almost a century in recovery from alcoholism and increasing

evidence shows it is just as effective in the recovery from drug abuse as well.

Helping the ReNova Method gain a greater foothold as an alcohol rehab process will not happen overnight, change in the mental health field is always slow. But, it is already happening. As more and more people achieve and sustain powerful recoveries, that can even include casual social drinking (in complete safety) the word is spreading. Referrals from clients and physicians are now a routine part of my practice using the ReNova Method.

A second expanded edition of my book is in the works. This one explores the effect of ReNova on drug abuse as well as alcoholism and is geared to mental health professionals as well as the general public.

What will come next a training program for licensed and/or certified mental health professionals. Along with the ReNova Counseling Consortium, the group dedicated to the use of this work.

My very reasonable hope is that within a few short years ReNova will take it’s rightful place among the options for alcohol rehab and drug abuse recovery. What I have seen and experienced tells me will be a better day for all who suffer from (and suffer because) of the disease of addiction.

Michael O’Neal, LCDC-ADC III

Board Certified Diplomate Alcohol & Drug Counselor

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