Heroes Among Us


Help available for addicts in quarantine: 'Boredom is a big trigger'

Posted at 11:20 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 12:23:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- McShin Foundation co-founder John Shinholser said peer-to-peer recovery is paramount in overcoming addiction.

“When we find recovery our message is one of responsibility," Shinholser said about his recovery and rehab non-profit.

During coronavirus, self-quarantining may be the best defense against the pandemic.

But Nellie Guzman, who battled drug and alcohol addiction for five years, said isolation can be a recipe for relapse.

“The worst thing that can happen to you is that you think you’re alone when you’re not," Guzman said. "There are still doors that are open for you."

During the pandemic, McShin is going digital. Recording daily hour-long meetings and sharing them on-line.

“McShin has an active online community. If you come across us it's important for us to be here for you and we are," Guzman said.

“We have the task of helping the new people, but now we have the vice of coronavirus clamping down on us," Shinholser said,

Staff members want to reach addicts any way they can during these anxious times.

“A lot of people across America can’t get to their meetings or groups, so we’re doing a big push on social media, so people at home can feel like a part of a group and part of recovery," Shinholser said.

Jonathan Adkins is celebrating three weeks clean after a six-year battle with opioids and heroin.

“An idle mind is a devil’s mind. Boredom is a big trigger for us addicts," Adkins said. “I didn’t want to live anymore. I remember the day before I came here, I prayed to God that if this is all you got for me, then please kill me.”

The 23-year-old Dinwiddie native and father of two said addicts need support either in person or virtually.

“Watch what is online. Definitely. If you can’t get out, watch the groups on line. Call another addict. You got to want it. You got to chase that recovery," he said.

McShin is canceling special programs and practicing social distancing, but the non-profit is not canceling meetings for those in crisis.

“At the end of the day, we’re hope dealers," Shinholser said. “The best hope shot a person can get is from another person.”

The long road to recovery may be fraught with pitfalls, but help, even during a pandemic is available one click away.

“Someone talking in a meeting can help you make a decision that you were about to make," Adkins said. "So, the fact that they’re doing that is saving many lives.”

Learn more about McShin Foundation here.