Munson’s Residential Substance Abuse Program May Get Cut Due to COVID-19

Some medical experts say the quarantine led to widespread isolation which has in turn, fueled addiction and substance abuse issues across the state.

The need for mental health and drug abuse help has increased, but now, Munson is considering eliminating or altering their residential substance abuse program.

Their 14-bed program serves people battling alcohol and other drug addictions and focuses heavily on group therapies and activities.

Treatment would be much harder now with social distancing concerns.

“This is a program that’s very, very group oriented,” said Scott Wagner, Munson’s executive director of behavioral health.  “These are people that who would be staying overnight in the residential program. And again, that creates social distancing safety virus transmission sorts of issues.”

To compensate, Munson has ramped up their outpatient and telehealth care.

“Actually, in our outpatient services, we were able to see more people via telehealth than before March,” said Wagner. “Next week, we will be bringing our therapists back into the office, they will continue to do telehealth outpatient visits.”

For now, officials must make difficult decisions and have conversations about how to move forward with this essential service during this pandemic.

“We have focused more on how can we provide services and continue services that we can do more virtually like outpatient services into people’s home,” said Wagner.

Wagner says they don’t have a timeline on finalizing any decision.

Categories: Coronavirus