Where to turn in a time of crisis for someone struggling with addiction

Jun 12, 2020, 12:14 PM
time of crisis...

SALT LAKE CITY — For those who are struggling with a substance abuse disorder, many current events can truly lead to a time of crisis with potentially deadly outcomes.

Dr. Matt Woolley, a clinical psychologist, recently spoke on the Project Recovery podcast to offer helpful ways to try and combat addiction in a pandemic.

Video chats with a licensed therapist to help in a time of crisis

In 2018, a survey of professional psychologists reported that only 48% of psychologists offered their services online. Due to the complications from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number has shifted dramatically.

Many patients have begun to question whether or not you even have a good experience to share that connection virtually. Luckily, people are adapting to the new standards according to Dr. Woolley.

“The numbers are starting to prove that yes you can,” Dr. Woolley said. “People who were in recovery and were going to meetings or people who haven’t ever done that, they should consider either continuing or starting these video support systems.”

Take advantage of your family practitioner

For many families who are already familiar with their family practitioner, that may be one of the best places to start when addressing a possible addiction.

“Most people have a relationship with a family practice doctor. They’re a great resource because you typically can get in fairly quickly and this affects the general health of your family,” Dr. Woolley said.  

The benefits of choosing someone you are already familiar with to get assistance can be an incredible asset. Practitioners might not be able to help directly but they’ll be able to point you to other resources as well as send you to a specialist and give you further information on where to turn in a time of crisis.

Look into your benefits

While mental health benefits in the workplace are still adapting to the ever-growing landscape of mental health awareness, many business have begun implementing various EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs). 

“Usually, when we sign up for healthcare plans through work, we’re not thinking about therapy or mental health,” Dr. Woolley described. “But most plans nowadays have some sort of mental health benefit so that’s a good place to start.”

According to a poll published by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), 68% of 619 U.S. organizations polled planned to increase their emphasis on mental health services by next year. 

So, be sure to take a look into your healthcare package to find a list of providers appropriate to your insurance plan.

Download the SafeUT app

Many Utahns have found an incredibly valuable resource in combatting mental health disorders by using the SafeUT app. The app was originally developed in 2015 to help provide assistance regarding mental health issues, as well as to provide real-time crisis intervention for Utah’s youth. 

According to Dr. Woolley, the app is used as an outlet for teens who may struggle with a major depression disorder and possibly have suicidal thoughts.

“Just think, unsafe. If there is something that feels unsafe, it’s a good resource to reach out and make some connections,” he added.

You can text or call in anytime if you feel like a member of your family is struggling with substance abuse.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)

In such a dangerous time of crisis, psychologists are still unsure of the long-term effects that the pandemic will have. One of their main concerns though is a potential rise in suicide rates.

Dr. Woolley says that one way we can combat the negative effects of the pandemic is by “making a connection”.

“All recovery change starts with making a connection somewhere with someone and finding support that leads you to better ideas,” he explained. “If you’re depressed, you’re not thinking clearly and you aren’t problem-solving well. Let someone else who’s been there and can give you some professional and even peer-to-peer support.”

If you or anyone you know may be experiencing the following warning signs please call 9-1-1 immediately.

  • Increased substance use
  • No reason for living, no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Feeling trapped — like there’s no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and society
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes

Listen to the podcast to learn more about substance abuse awareness in a time of crisis

For more information on addiction or if you or someone you know is struggling, you can find more information on Facebook, KSL TV, or from Use Only as Directed. To hear more from Casey Scott and Dr. Matt Woolley, you can listen below or subscribe to the ‘Project Recovery’ podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get major podcasts.

Today’s Top Stories


second job inflation...
Heather Kelly

Many are getting second (and even a third) job to keep up with inflation

More people are getting a second job, said Bankrate.com, because inflation has them dipping into their discretionary funds.
15 days ago
Utah homes are recording high levels of radon gas. 
Photo credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News...
Heather Kelly

Utah homes at risk of having dangerous levels of radon gas

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for people who are non-smoking. Utah homes are recording high levels.
2 months ago
A customer pumps gas at an Exxon gas station, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Miami. U.S consumers have s...
Curt Gresseth

UVU commencement speaker tells her story of rising from high school dropout to bank president

Mary Daly shares her story of rising from high school dropout through the nudging encouragement of her mentor to become president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
2 months ago
Toxic relationships...
Curt Gresseth

Expert shares advice on leaving a toxic relationship

A BYU psychologist shared his advice on identifying a toxic relationship and best practices for how to avoid one and how to leave one.
2 months ago
Maria Shilaos ana Taun Beddes learn to grow vegetables with Mat Jentzsch...
Carlos Artiles Fortun

KSL Greenhouse: How to grow vegetables in containers

Maria Shilaos and Taun Beddes visit Mathew Jentzsch to learn how to grow vegetables in containers for easy, convenient growing.
2 months ago
Lack of Russian oil supply greatly effects Utah along with rest of Country...
Curt Gresseth

Will Biden’s plan to tap national reserve lower gas prices?

An industry insider says it's good President Biden wants to encourage oil and natural gas production, but isn't sure what it'll do for gas prices.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Where to turn in a time of crisis for someone struggling with addiction