Relapse pandemic: Substance abuse treatment is failing due to COVID

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Jackie Ré, who runs a substance-use disorder facility in New Jersey, gathered the 12 female residents of her center in the living room on March 27 and told them that the coronavirus outbreak had forced the center to limit contact with the outside world.

There was an immediate outcry: The women already felt disconnected and didn’t want their sense of isolation exacerbated, Ms. Ré said. Within the next six months, nine left the program at Haley House in Blairstown against staff advice, and all but one relapsed.

Routine is important. Group therapy is important. Family visitation is important. Field trips are important. Intimate conversations are important. Take away any one of those things and rehabilitation is jeopardized. Take away all of them, and rehabilitation is virtually impossible:

Monday News: Six thousand, nine hundred ten

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NC'S NEW CASE COUNTS TOP 9,000, OVER 3,500 HOSPITALIZED: At least 564,924 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 6,910 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 6,487 new COVID-19 cases, down from 9,365 reported the day before and the record 9,527 reported Friday. A record 3,576 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Sunday. As of Friday, the latest day for which data are available, 13.6% of COVID-19 tests were positive. A national projection model from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts 1,100 more people may die from the coronavirus in North Carolina during the first three weeks of January.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article248248540.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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ENOUGH CLOWNING, WASHINGTON NEEDS TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT PANDEMIC RELIEF: It was the middle of May – more than seven months ago – that the House of Representatives passed a bill to provide an additional wave of COVID-19 relief to provide more stimulus for the economy and to help state and local governments, millions of unemployed workers and their families. The Senate, since receiving the bill in May, did nothing for months – no hearings on the bill; no alternative legislation; no concern for the plight of the nation’s workers and families. All the American people got was partisan posturing as U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, complained of a so-called “blue-state bailout” for state and local governments. The final passage and signing of the relief bill was the apotheosis of dysfunction that has plagued Washington amid the reign of President Trump and McConnell’s rule of the Senate.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/editorial-enough-clowning-washington-needs-to-get-serious-about-pan...

Saturday News: If it walks like a cult...

CHARLOTTE CHURCH PLANNING ANOTHER SUPERSPREADER EVENT: A large number of people are expected to gather over the weekend at a Charlotte church that was the source of a deadly COVID-19 outbreak in October, according to local media reports. Bishop C.M. Bailey, the national leader of the United House of Prayer for All People, is planning a visit to the United House of Prayer on Beatties Ford Road Jan. 2 and 3, Fox 46 reported, citing a member of the church. His visit could draw a crowd of hundreds, WCNC reported. At least 213 COVID-19 cases have been linked to convocation events the church held in October, and 12 people have died. Health officials allowed the church to reopen just before Halloween after it agreed to certain restrictions, including capacity limits, the Observer reported.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article248224225.html

Friday News: Bending the Arc

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UNMARRIED LGBTQ PEOPLE CAN NOW FILE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTION ORDERS: LGBTQ people in North Carolina can no longer be prevented from getting domestic violence protective orders, the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. North Carolina had been the only state in the country to withhold emergency protections from people seeking protection from abuse by a same-sex partner, The News & Observer reported in 2019. That kind of protection is offered to couples of the opposite sex, and to married and divorced same-sex couples, but not for same-sex couples who are dating or who used to date. But that ban is unconstitutional, the appeals court ruled in a 2-1 opinion Thursday. Attorney General Josh Stein and Gov. Roy Cooper, both Democrats, had previously called the law unconstitutional and signed briefs supporting the plaintiff in this case.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article248195975.html

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