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The United States met COVID-19 head-on in January 2020, with the nation entering a tumultuous period in March.

While the Federal government struggled to respond to the outbreak, each state worked to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In most states, this meant that when the kids were let out of school for spring break, they never returned.

Even now, many colleges and universities have canceled fall breaks, and are preemptively canceling spring break for 2021, too. Elementary, intermediate, and high schools are following suit.

While this makes sense as schools are making an effort to stem the rising tide of coronavirus cases, the increase in stay-at-home orders across the nation leaves many parents in a precarious position.

 

Rising Stress Levels During The Pandemic

A man who is stressed over the coronavirus pandemic

Anyone can tell you parenting is tough. Add a global pandemic to the normal load of duties, though, and things can get downright crazy.

Many factors are triggering an increase in stress levels right now, and today we’ll be highlighting some of these core areas where you could be struggling with pandemic parenting:

  •         Solo parenting
  •         School
  •         Job security
  •         Social isolation

 

Solo Parenting

With strict stay-at-home orders and the desire to keep friends and loved ones safe, many parents are now facing situations in which there is simply no reprieve.

Since the elderly are at the highest risk of serious complications from COVID-19, many parents are unable to rely on assistance from grandparents and other relatives that they are accustomed to leaning on.

Parenting alone can lead to increased stress and a higher risk of depression and substance abuse.

 

School

Parents are now faced with being responsible for the education of their children as well as their general welfare. Keeping up with assignments, synchronous and asynchronous learning times, and seemingly endless meetings and phone calls becomes difficult for any parent. When there are multiple children to supervise, the task can feel insurmountable.

Another problem with distance learning is the lack of equity for students. Many children live in homes without access to computers or internet services, and the shuttered libraries make it impossible for some children to participate in meaningful education.

The UN offers many strategies for education during the pandemic, but they will take time and money to implement. In the meantime, 71% of parents are facing high levels of stress while trying to manage their children’s school requirements.

 

Job Security

One painful side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been wholesale job loss. Whether temporary or permanent, many families have lost the security provided by a full-time job.

25% of adults in the US report that they or someone in their home lost their job because of the pandemic.

Many companies have transitioned to remote working, but workers who are at the largest disadvantage during this pandemic are unable to work from home.

Even if a parent is able to work from home, they still need to juggle their work with their children’s school workload.

With the loss of income, many people are now facing the real problem of being unable to pay their rent or mortgage, and up to 54 million Americans are dealing with food insecurity.

All of this stress can take a tremendous toll on even the most robust individual.

 

Social Isolation

The coronavirus pandemic has forced people into isolation, away from friends, family, and routines that keep life feeling right.

The social isolation being experienced by millions across the globe right now is not good for mental health and has been linked repeatedly to an increase in substance abuse.

 

Parental Substance Use During The Coronavirus Pandemic

A man walking with his son on his shoulders

Many studies have pointed to an uptick in substance abuse during the current health situation in America, and parents are not immune.

A June poll from the CDC showed that nearly 15% of respondents were experiencing an increase in substance abuse.

 

Alcohol

While many people are jokingly saying that alcohol is getting them through the pandemic, sales records show this might actually be unfolding.

When researchers compared alcohol sales year over year, they found that 2020 retail sales had increased 54% over 2019 sales while online alcohol sales during the same period have risen by nearly 500%.

During stay-at-home orders, many people are turning to alcohol to get them through the days, and those who treat substance abuse are worried that alcohol abuse is on the rise.

 

Marijuana

Throughout the country, 43 million Americans use marijuana medicinally and recreationally. Unfortunately, many people still use it excessively.

Marijuana abuse is also on the rise due to the pandemic and the stress it is causing.

Officials warn that this is dangerous, though. Even occasional use of cannabis can increase the risks associated with coronavirus.

 

Other Drugs

Whether just stuck at home or just trying to navigate a new normality, many people are using substances to self-medicate.

In addition to drinking and smoking too much, parents are turning to opioids and other drugs for relief. Millennium laboratories published information from urinary screenings that shows an alarming increase in drug use.

  •         Use of non-prescribed fentanyl has soared by 31.96%
  •         Cocaine use has increased by 10.06%
  •         Methamphetamine use has gone up by 19.96%
  •         Heroin use is 12.53% up

 

What Comes Next?

Parenting during the pandemic has been tough on everyone. Stay-at-home orders, job loss, food insecurity, home-schooling, and everything else unfurling have increased stress levels exponentially.

This increase in stress can lead to drinking and smoking too much to escape pandemic parenting and to seek temporary refuge from the general chaos.

Parental substance abuse is dangerous, especially during a worldwide pandemic. Here at Landmark Recovery, we want to help you be the best parent you can be.

Call our friendly team today at 888-448-0302 so we can help determine the best path forward for you.

About the Author

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Landmark Recovery Staff

This post was written by a Landmark Recovery staff member. If you have any questions, please contact us at 888-448-0302.

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