Updated: Dec 17, 2018
After the big ass earthquake a couple a weeks ago in Anchorage, it got me thinking about whether more people are shocked into going into rehab or if more people relapse when an emergency/disaster hits. The earthquake was more of a wake-up call for people than a tragedy. I realized that I wasn’t nearly as prepared for an emergency than I should be. I have done a little work to remedy this but not a whole lot. Perhaps people that are addicted to substances get a moment of clarity for, well, a moment, but then the further away from the emergency, they forget the importance of why they wanted to get clean? This is similar to the way that I have slowly let the idea of being prepared for an emergency slip to the back of my mind
Before I got off of Suboxone, there were a few times that I went on an overnight trip and forgot my medication. At that time, I was taking a really low dose. One day without it would have been fine, but two days and I would have started feeling the beginnings of withdrawal set in. I didn’t like to idea of being tethered to a medication. Because I can suffer from catastrophic thinking and used to watch The Walking Dead, I would think about what would happen if there were a zombie apocalypse and I was on this medication that caused withdrawal. I would most likely get bit by a zombie—if not eaten—and my husband would have to stab me in the brain so I wouldn’t turn into a zombie myself. I'd like to think of myself of more of a survivor, but the truth is, I would be zombie food. Though a zombie apocalypse nor an emergency/disaster were the main reason I had for getting off of Suboxone, it was something to think about. I know that a zombie apocalypse is not real and I am speaking in metaphor, but really, I am so grateful not to be tied down to an opiate anymore. What I would do about my asthma medicine, or what my bestie would do about her insulin is a whole other level that I am not exploring here.
When I posed the question to a co-worker of whether more people check into rehab after an emergency/disaster, he mentioned that he thought, perhaps more people would slip up and use in order to cope with their nerves. Talking with my husband more about the matter, we decided that perhaps the type of emergency would matter, like severity and length. I posted this question on a forum I belong to, and all of the women that responded said that they definitely would not relapse if there were an emergency. Most of the women have children, and they felt they would need to be level-headed in order to go through the emergency/disaster experience and be there for their family. One woman brought up Fear the Walking Dead, a show I have yet to watch and probably won’t ever. Supposedly there is a heroin addict on the show that survives for a little while, though the person on the forum said that the way that the show portrayed addiction was ridiculous. I am just surprised he survived a zombie attack. I can’t imagine nodding off and still surviving a zombie attack. I might have to watch the scene for, you know, research.
It has been hard to find any results to my question of whether or not more people check into rehab centers after disasters/emergencies. The Google Gods were not bestowing upon me the answers I sought. I might actually have to call a few places to see if they have any data on whether there is an influx of patients after an emergency/disaster, but I am not sure if the question is enough of a burning desire for me to start calling. I really am just wondering if an emergency/disaster situation is a catalyst for people to finally get off the wheel. Is it a catalyst to stop running on the hamster wheel of addiction or is it a catalyst to get back on?
what do you think?