An OXFORDSHIRE rehab clinic that remains open during the coronavirus crisis and treats new patients said the government-chosen silence during the ban was "dangerous."
As soon as the corona virus reached Great Britain in January, changes were made to the rehab at Banbury Lodge.
A Covid Crisis Management Team has been established to ensure that it remains open and free from Covid-19 and continues to treat new addicts from Oxfordshire and the surrounding area.
Between January 31 and May 23 – 85 days – 172 clients were treated in the Banbury rehab, an average of two admissions per day.
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The rehab warned without the help that it could offer during the outbreak. These addicts may have continued their addiction at home and significantly increased the likelihood of straining local ambulance and NHS hospitals during the height of the pandemic.
The clinic team criticized the government for its "chosen silence" about which services were still open during the first blackout period, which began in March.
Current government guidelines state that the collective effort of drug and alcohol treatment workers is an "essential and highly valued element" of the national response to Covid-19 and it is important that these services continue.
It added: "People who abuse or depend on drugs and alcohol or who are dependent on them may have an increased risk of contracting Covid-19 and infecting others.
"They may also be more susceptible to poor health outcomes due to the underlying physical and mental health issues, as well as the mental health issues associated with blocking."
However, the need to limit personal interaction is emphasized.
Nuno Albuquerque, head of treatment for the British addiction treatment group that runs the Banbury Lodge, insisted that the advice at the height of the pandemic was not clear enough.
He said: “Time is crucial when it comes to successfully treating someone with an addiction. As soon as an addict asks for help, help must be provided. You cannot wait for the lock to be released. "
He explained that this is why it is "crucial" for employees to ensure that rehab remains open during the crisis and can accommodate customers across Oxfordshire.
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Mr. Albuquerque added: “The government has decided to remain silent when it comes to people suffering from addiction. They chose not to encourage them to get the help they urgently needed, so we fully expect a rush of customers seeking treatment after the suspension ends. "
He said this was a "dangerous approach" because people's dependency had worsened and the delay in treatment for some "may have been fatal".
He added, "Addiction doesn't stop because we're in the middle of a global pandemic, and neither do we."
Banbury Lodge has launched online group follow-up programs that are available to all customers who leave treatment during the crisis.
These support groups offered regular interaction with therapists and others to prevent relapse.
Visit ukat.co.uk/banbury-lodge/v27/ for access to treatment and addiction support.