Pandemic Compounds Holiday Stress for Parents Working on Sobriety
Monday, December 21, 2020
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The pandemic is compounding the regular stresses of the holiday season, and it's an especially challenging time for Ohioans living with substance use disorder.
The Ohio START Program connects people who've experienced substance use disorder, recovery and the children services system with families who are currently struggling with similar issues.
Ashley Durst, an Ohio START caseworker in Trumbull County, explained a support system is crucial for sobriety, so clients are advised not to isolate themselves. But they could be exposed to drinking or drug use at family gatherings.
"A lot of the cycle of addiction goes from generation to generation, and that's not the best place for them," Durst observed. "But they're also told not to isolate. So it's kind of a Catch-22."
Sarah Hayden, a family peer mentor for Warren County Children Services, said COVID is limiting in-person supports for her clients.
"For holidays, if they don't have their kids with them or they've lost loved ones or if they're just now getting to the point to where they are wanting to try to get sober, all those dynamics take a big toll on their recovery," Hayden described.
Hayden added she's trying to provide extra support to clients, with phone calls and more frequent check-ins. The program also connects clients to more intensive services, including treatment programs that can support their success.
Crystal Jameson, a family peer mentor for Trumbull County Children Services, believes Ohio START is successful because it takes an intensive, team approach and is non-judgmental.
"It's not easy to face substance abuse," Jameson remarked. "You need to have structure and that support. That's the best thing that this program offers. It's just an amazing opportunity to watch that light click on with our clients and see the changes that they make in their life."
Ohio START is currently in more than three dozen counties and is taking applications for 14 more in 2021. The program served 225 new families this year, including nearly 600 adults and more than 300 kids.
Last week, the program was approved for inclusion in a federally-funded clearinghouse that identifies and shares information about evidence-based practices in foster care.
get more stories like this via email
As the opioid crisis continues, more New Hampshire grandparents are seeking financial help to raise their grandchildren. Already struggling with the …
As of Jan. 1, insulin will become a lot more affordable for many Nebraskans, and those who have come to rely on telehealth visits are more likely to …
Some state and local lawmakers are on a long list calling on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to require big oil companies to help offset the costs of …
Utilities and government agencies in the U.S. are carrying out plans to transition to cleaner electricity sources. To avoid being left behind…
Health and Wellness
November has been Diabetes Awareness Month - but heading into the holidays, people who are diabetic know they can't lose their focus on keeping it in …
Conservation groups are celebrating a long-fought battle to protect the dwindling population of wolverine in the Northwest and northern Rockies…
As world leaders gather in Dubai for the international conference on climate change, the City of Long Beach is acting on multiple fronts to help the …
A new report is calling for greater accountability in the system providing funding to farmers in underserved communities. The research takes a dive …