BVCASA worried about substance abuse relapses during COVID-19

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse or BVCASA met in person four times a week before COVID-19 surfaced. Now, the groups are meeting virtually.

“We’re used to having a group with all the clients coming in and stuff, so we immediately started using Zoom,” said BVCASA Director of HHSC Treatment and Intervention Services Cindy Soltis.”Our number’s working, so anyone can call to make an appointment to get into services.”

Soltis also explained that some of the people they work with could be more susceptible to COVID-19.

“Overall, they have respiratory problems anyway, so they’re at higher risk for COVID-19,” said Soltis.

Soltis said they’re still getting calls, but not as many as she expected. She knows sheltering in place could be a hard time for people who use substances and wants people to know they’re still operating like normal.

“For people who do use substances, isolation is not a good thing anyway,” said Soltis.

Soltis said one of her main concerns is people relapsing.

“You know, there’s a lot of grief and anxiety, and usually they can share their feelings and talk about it with support groups and their counselors,” said Soltis. “That’s why relapse is probably going to be a bigger issue at this point.”

She expects the calls to come in soon.

“People will start calling. It didn’t stop, substance abuse didn’t stop; it’s still out there,” said Soltis. “They do have an illness, and they do need treatment.”

You can call BVCASA for their services at 979-823-5300 or visit the website in the related links section.