While most of these deaths are driven by external factors, interventions can still help prevent them.
- A decades-long study suggests childhood interventions are effective against deaths of despair.
- The students who had interventions went on to drink less, engage in less risky behavior, and reported less self-harm.
- The findings suggest that similar programs have the potential to save countless lives.
The road to despair often begins in childhood<p> Studies have found that there are "behaviors of despair," such as a tendency towards suicidal ideation or substance abuse, which can lead to deaths of despair later. These behaviors are predicted by other factors, such as <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00917538" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">impulsivity</a> or a lack of healthy stress coping <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460399000581" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mechanisms</a>. In principle, these factors can be addressed by intervention programs. If these behaviors are controlled or prevented at the source, then the later deaths can be prevented as well. </p><p>Since many of these factors arise in <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-12-childhood-intervention-deaths-despair.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">childhood</a>, the researchers started there with a program that aims to give children the skills needed to avoid developing behaviors of despair in the first <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-12/du-cic121720.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">place</a>.</p><p>The program they used<strong>, </strong><a href="https://fasttrackproject.org/overview.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Fast Track</a> (FT), is an intervention program centered around the idea that multiple factors can leave a child without the social skills, academic preparedness, or ability to regulate the behavior that can help prevent them from having issues later in school and as young adults. </p><p>Starting with at-risk children in kindergarten in 1991, the researchers identified children in participating schools that scored high on a diagnostic for aggressive behavior in the classroom. These children and their parents were sorted into control and experimental groups. Those in the experimental group got the whole package of interventions. These focused on building the student's social skills, reducing their impulsivity, helping the parents form a more positive relationship with their child, and in-school interventions to help the student succeed. </p><p>Check-ins and tests followed over the subsequent years, in hopes of determining the success of the interventions. </p><p>The results were dramatic. There was an immediate reduction in aggressive or disruptive behaviors at home and school. While these benefits seemed to decline as the children reached middle school, they returned as they reached high school.</p><p>Later on, when the students began to report their drug and alcohol use, those who had interventions engaged in hazardous drinking 46 percent less than their peers who had not. Their weekly opioid use was 61 percent lower, and they were much less likely to report suicidal tendencies. These benefits existed for students of all demographic groups. </p><p> The children who were in the study are now in their 30s. With any luck, they will do better than many of their peers. </p>
'Critical Tourist Map of Oslo' offers uniquely dark perspective on Norway's capital.
- Your standard tourist map is irrepressibly positive about its location—but not this one.
- Norwegian activist/artist Markus Moestue reveals the dark and shameful sides of Oslo.
- He hopes his 'Critical Tourist Map' will inspire others to reveal the dark side of their cities.
"Only negative stuff about Oslo"<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="afa824839d1b396332eec13dde629cf1"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HI1paJLc9Bo?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Tourism is a conspiracy of euphemisms. Visitors only want to see the best parts of the places they visit. And the places they visit only want to show them their nicest bits. But now, Norwegian activist/artist Markus Moestue is completely reversing that premise. His 'Critical Tourist Map' of Oslo shows the worst, most shameful parts of the Norwegian capital. "It's just like a normal tourist map," he says, "but everything is negative."</p><p><span></span>In a clip on his website, he's seen wheeling a self-made kiosk across Oslo to distribute his work to passersby: "You guys want a free tourist map? It's a critical one: only negative things. So, nothing about sweaters or lasagna, only negative stuff about Oslo and Norway." Some hesitantly accept the map. Most walk by, nonplussed.</p><p><span></span>In the same clip, Moestue muses: "If you feel like you live in the best country in the world, take a moment to consider: Is that really a fact? Or is that just the result of a very successful national propaganda?"</p><p><span></span>One thing is for sure: Norway does have a very positive opinion of itself, and successfully projects that image to the rest of the world. Like its neighboring countries in Scandinavia, it regularly tops global rankings of happiness, equality, eco-awareness and other positive social indicators. </p><p><span></span>But Moestue argues that there <em>is</em> something rotten in the state of Norway, and he uses the otherwise irrepressibly positive medium of the tourist map to make his point. </p><p><span></span>"The Critical Tourist Map of Oslo might help you shatter a few myths about the greatness of Norway. Among the topics you'll learn about is Norway's aggressive foreign policy, our involvement in colonial slavery, the unfair asylum system and why Amnesty International has their eyes on our prisons."</p><p>A short overview of the places and issues he singles out (see map for full text) follows.<br></p>
"Cleverly constructed doublethink"<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc2NDA0MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzE2Njg2OH0.f-P7CZ6HWXngFmGcYH9GCgTkD9zSIk8XdG3u6wUu8W4/img.jpg?width=980" id="a836f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d0fb7e033d4121b4400670417eefcf61" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The Royal Palace in Oslo was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of Norwegian and Swedish king Charles III (Carl Johan, Charles XIV of Sweden) and is used as the official residence of the present Norwegian Monarch. The crown-prince couple resides at Skaugum in Asker Municipality outside Oslo." data-width="3706" data-height="2720" />
The Royal Palace in Oslo. "The Royal Myth was created by King Olav in 1973, when he arranged a photo of himself pretending to pay for a tram ticket," says Moestue.
Credit: Palickap, CC BY-SA 4.0<p><strong></strong><strong>1. Monarchy</strong></p><p><em>Det Kongelige Slott (the Royal Palace) – Slottsplassen 1</em></p><p>"The Royal Myth was created by King Olav in 1973, when he arranged a photo of himself pretending to pay for a tram ticket. That iconic image showed the king being just like us. But of course, it was such a big deal because he's not one of us. This is very cleverly constructed doublethink."<br></p><p><strong>2. Parliament</strong></p><p><em>Stortinget (Parliament) – Karl Johanns gate 22</em></p><p><em></em>"In 2011, these people voted to bomb Libya. 588 Norwegian bombs helped reduce that country from one of the most stable states in Africa into one of civil war with extreme suffering for its people." </p><p><strong>3. Slavery</strong></p><p><em>Tordenskioldstatuen (statue of Tordenskiold) – Rådhusplassen (east side)</em></p><p>"Our national hero Tordenskiold operated as a slave-trader during the colonial era. Norway actively downplays this part of our history and has not provided any apologies or paid any reparations."</p><p><strong>4. Oslo Prison</strong></p><p><em>Oslo fengsel (Oslo Prison) - Åkebergveien 11</em></p><p><em></em>"Amnesty International has complained that this prison in Oslo keeps prisoners in isolation for up to 23 hours a day. This equals torture and may have long-term implications for the prisoners' mental health." </p><p><strong>5. Lesbian bench</strong></p><p><em>Karl Johanns gate (?)</em></p><p><em></em>"This bench is a memorial for all in Norway who have been discriminated against—and still are—because of their sexual orientation. Still today you can find discrimination, and some religious sects are still trying to 'heal' young people from homosexuality." </p><p><strong>6. Indigenous peoples</strong></p><p><em>Samisk Hus (Sami House) - Dronningens gate 8B</em></p><p><em></em>"Many efforts have been made to assimilate the indigenous people of Norway. Sami and Kven have had their cultures diminished. Use of their languages and symbols was discouraged, sometimes outlawed. Today, these languages are under threat of extinction."<br></p>
The gap between history and reality<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc2NDA1Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTg5NTQ1NH0.BINAtAOzGyUMfBdjCUuBI4jcE-JGF5NJMM4cL4SeMe4/img.jpg?width=980" id="0bad8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d468a23fd5d94b61348f94c4779ff48f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="\u200b"In most countries, what we are taught about our own nation in school does not correspond much to reality," says Mr Moestue. This map sets about correcting that shortcoming, at least for his own country: "Is Norway the most happy place, the most environmentally conscious, the most peace-loving or the most ethical (country on earth)? Hardly!"" data-width="3508" data-height="4961" />
"In most countries, what we are taught about our own nation in school does not correspond much to reality," says Moestue. This map sets about correcting that shortcoming, at least for Oslo and Norway.
17th-century sugar<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc2NDA2Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTAxMjkxMX0.gznqzdg6ts4Ao3tZnJSpg93nCj0YUBi8ycrYKcBg1bU/img.jpg?width=980" id="a18ce" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="51d624d1e603cdae225ef8fca66a9764" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Seagull resting in Tordenskiold's hat. "We had fortresses in Africa and colonies in the Caribbean. Norway actively downplays this part of our history and has not provided any apologies or paid any reparations," says Mr Moestue. "It sometimes feels like Norway has no colonial history and nobody ate any sugar in the 17th century."" data-width="2486" data-height="2109" />
Seagull resting in Tordenskiold's hat. "It sometimes feels like Norway has no colonial history and nobody ate any sugar in the 17th century."
Credit: Michal Klajban, CC BY-SA 3.0<p>Perhaps somewhat too convinced of the malleability of public opinion, Mr Moestue muses: "People don't want to just come to Oslo, look around, go back home and say: <em>Hey, I've been to Oslo, to have the best kebab or to have some mediocre Chinese food there</em>. No. People want to go to Oslo and then they want to go back home, and they want to say: <em>I've been to Oslo. I've seen Oslo. And it's really, really bad</em>."</p><p>Most foreigners - and a good deal of Norwegians - will probably not know that the country has a colonial past, for example. "We had fortresses in Africa and colonies in the Caribbean. Norway actively downplays this part of our history and has not provided any apologies or paid any reparations," says Moestue. But "it sometimes feels like Norway has no colonial history and nobody ate any sugar in the 17th century."</p><p><span></span>However, don't mistake Mr Moestue's negativism for nihilism. Ultimately, his map has a positive point to make: "I feel that Norway is using too much resources <em>appearing</em> to be good, and too little effort actually <em>doing</em> good!"</p><p>And there's another thing the artist hopes is map will achieve: "I'm hoping others will make their own tourist maps about their own cities. If they look hard enough I'm sure it's also pretty bad!" </p><p><br><br><em>Learn more about Mr Moestue's map on his <a href="https://markusmoestue.no/" target="_blank">website</a>.</em></p><p><em></em><strong>Strange Maps #1056</strong></p><p><strong></strong><em>Got a strange map? Let me know via </em><a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a><em>.</em><br></p>
It's "the biggest blow to the war on drugs to date," said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
- Oregon voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
- The state also legalized the therapeutic use and sale of psilocybin mushrooms.
- As the laws go into effect, other U.S. states will be watching to see how the experiment plays out, influencing future votes across the country.
Arrest and incarceration rates<p>Reduced arrest and incarceration rates for drug possession are likely to be the most obvious changes. The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission <a href="https://www.opb.org/pdf/IP44%20-%20REI%20Statement%20Supplement_1602708982790.pdf" target="_blank">estimates</a> that the new laws will reduce convictions for drug possession by about 90 percent, from 4,057 convictions in 2019, to a projected 378 in 2021.<br></p><p>The commission's report also estimates that drug convictions among Black and Indigenous Oregonians may drop by 94 percent, and that racial disparities in drug arrests could drop by the same amount.</p><p>If more Oregonians stay out of the criminal justice system, it could help more people find employment, housing, addiction services and student loans, all of which can be harder to access with a drug conviction on your record. </p><p>It's also conceivable that the new initiative will reduce contentious interactions between Oregonians and law enforcement, which, potentially, could lead to lower arrest rates for other infractions, and create fewer opportunities for police interactions to turn violent.</p><p>Alternatively, if the initiative frees up time and resources for Oregon law enforcement, the state could see arrests rise for other types of crimes. That may include arresting more dealers and traffickers, considering the new laws only apply to users carrying small amounts. If police focus on the suppliers, it will likely change the dynamics of Oregon's illegal drug trade.</p>
Drug use rates<p>How will removing the threat of jail and steep fines change drug use and overdose rates? It's hard to say for sure, but Portugal's 2001 decision to decriminalize drugs provides some clues. In the years following decriminalization, the nation's drug overdose deaths and <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/portugal-drug-decriminalization/" target="_blank">HIV infection rates dropped significantly</a>, while <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1464837" target="_blank">drug usage either stayed constant or decreased</a>.<br></p><p>That drug use remained constant or decreased may be because Portugal only decriminalized drugs, meaning drugs weren't legally available for purchase at something like a marijuana dispensary. But it's also worth noting that Portugal invested money in addiction treatment services, as Oregon <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/Oregon_Measure_110,_Drug_Decriminalization_and_Addiction_Treatment_Initiative_(2020)#How_is_the_drug_addiction_treatment_and_recovery_program_funded.3F" target="_blank">plans to do with tax revenues from marijuana sales and savings on correctional services</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Most accounts of the Portugal experiment have focused on decriminalization, but decriminalization was part of a broader effort intended to encourage treatment," <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/law-and-social-inquiry/article/uses-and-abuses-of-drug-decriminalization-in-portugal/1F68DA5A8F0369F3FBA6B2B04E454BBE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Hannah Laqueur</a>, an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Davis, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/05/upshot/portugal-drug-legalization-treatment.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">told</a> <em>The New York Times</em>.</p><p>Oregon will be a particularly interesting case study for decriminalization's effects on drug usage, considering the state ranks among the worst for <a href="https://www.wweek.com/news/state/2019/10/02/nobody-can-beat-oregon-for-drug-use-and-abuse/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">rates of addiction, use, and overdose</a>.</p>
Treatment rates<p>Although Oregon plans to expand investments in treatment programs for drug users, some are worried the new initiative will discourage people from seeking help.<br></p><p>John Kitzhaber, a former E.R. physician in Oregon, called for Oregonions to reject the measure, writing on his <a href="https://blog.johnkitzhaber.com/vote-no-on-measure-110/" target="_blank">blog</a>:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Measure 110 would eliminate this invaluable tool by reducing the possession of highly addictive drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and oxycodone to a "violation," which means the court will no longer have the ability to offer people the choice to pursue treatment. It also means that a teenager caught in possession of heroin or meth will only receive a ticket, which in many counties means that parents won't be informed of their child's drug use."</p><p>Still, even if Oregon's measure reduces the number of people who get treatment, that wouldn't necessarily be an indictment of decriminalization writ large, but rather the specific way the state is allocating funds. Kitzhaber concluded his post with a sentiment shared by both drug reform advocates and some of the measure's opponents: "Incarcerating people who suffer from addiction should not be tolerated."</p>
We owe a lot to vaccines and the scientists that develop them. But we've only just touched the surface of what vaccines can do.
- "Vaccines are the best thing science has ever given us," says Larry Brilliant, founding president and acting chairman of Skoll Global Threats. From smallpox, to Ebola, to polio, scientists have successful fought viruses and saved millions of lives. So what's next?
- As Covaxx (formerly United Neuroscience) cofounder Lou Reese explains in this video, the issue with vaccines is that they don't work against "non-external threats." This is a problem, especially now when internal threats (things that cause cancers, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses) are killing people more than external threats like viruses.
- The future of vaccine tech, which scientists are already working toward today, is developing safe vaccines to eradicate these destructive internal agents without harming our bodies in the process.
Being aware of this issue is a big first step in helping vulnerable communities (such as those struggling with addiction) combat relapse during this pandemic.
- Many mental health and addiction professionals are worried that the lockdown, quarantine and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will cause a surge in relapses of individuals who are struggling with sobriety at this time.
- Stress, loneliness, isolation, boredom and a lack of support for the addiction community are the biggest triggers for relapse right now.
- However, being aware of these triggers and supporting those in your life struggling with addiction through the help of online platforms can be a way to combat relapses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 and addiction: why are relapses more common during a pandemic?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI1NDQ5OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTY2NjE5N30.O8-wjlJ6A0gvC6YmmsR_V-vnL62DrgstTMudYLonNZU/img.jpg?width=980" id="2f3ea" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="466760f8bdb0b8bf1ce93ec8c88bddc3" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="sad woman thinking COVID-19 addiction relapse potential" data-width="1000" data-height="667" />
Stress, declining mental health, lack of community support and boredom can all trigger relapse - being aware of this can help prevent it.
Photo by Monster e on Shutterstock<p><strong>Stress and declining mental health can contribute to relapse potential</strong></p><p><a href="https://abcnews.go.com/Health/lot-struggles-recovering-addicts-coronavirus-creates-challenge-stay/story?id=69914643" target="_blank">Dayry Hulkow</a>, the primary therapist at Arete Recovery Center in Pembroke Pines, Florida explains,<em> "We have already seen relapses happening, moments of crisis, obviously a lot of mental health issues associated with the addiction and all the stresses that are going on in the world right now." </em></p> <p>Hulkow, like many other addiction specialists, fears the pandemic will grow the rate of relapse of those struggling with addictions all around the world. </p> <p><strong>Community supports sobriety, isolation triggers relapse</strong></p><p>The idea that community is a large part (maybe the most important part) of maintaining a sober lifestyle <a href="https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/addiction-recovery-community" target="_self">has been proven</a> - and with many areas of the world on lockdown with orders not to attend gatherings or support groups, the fear of relapse is a well-placed one. </p> <p>Licensed mental health counselor <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/28/americans-addiction-rrelapse-coronavirus" target="_blank">Denny Kolsch</a> explains the issue with lockdown orders and addiction recovery, <em>"The message we are receiving is to stay away from people. Isolate. Don't be around people - and for people that are in recovery, that's a recipe for disaster."</em></p> <p><strong>Boredom and limited access to the outside world can cause negative feelings that often lead to relapse</strong></p><p><em>"Also, there is boredom," </em>explains Hulkow, <em>"having to stay at home with very limited access to the outside world, hobbies, meetings, and employment can be triggering as well." </em></p> <p>Adding to that being quarantined in close-quarters with family members or friends, there could be family disputes or arguments that are also triggering for people who are recovering from addiction. </p><p>Relapses are common throughout the journey to sobriety from drugs and/or alcohol - in fact, Addiction Center states that up to 60% of individuals struggling with addiction will have at least one relapse before reaching sobriety.<br></p> <p>This is especially more likely during a time where people may be isolated at home, feeling anxious by the news or fearful for their health or the health of their loved ones. </p> <p>Family members and friends of loved ones who struggle with addiction should be particularly mindful during stressful times such as a pandemic, as there may be signs that your loved one is struggling and nearing a relapse. </p> <p><strong>Some signs of relapse during a pandemic can include: </strong></p><ul><li>Change in eating or sleeping habits </li><li>Declining hygiene</li><li>Lying or manipulative behavior</li><li>Glamorizing past drug/alcohol use</li><li>Bottling up emotion and/or mood swings that are unpredictable</li><li>Feelings or messages of hopelessness ("I just don't see a point in…") </li></ul>
How to cope with the relapse potential during a pandemic<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI1NDY4Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2Mzk5Nzc3Mn0.kiYXjsLXLMVEfzloHai0ucad-6jtl01YInQmVyZdvxU/img.jpg?width=980" id="5c40d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c4c15e764ae974720700900b7f2eee24" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept of online support group AA/NA meeting during COVID-19 pandemic" data-width="2400" data-height="1700" />
Online support groups, AA/NA meetings and virtual coffee dates can be a great way to stay in touch with members of the community and support each other during this stressful time.
Photo by Nadia Snopek on Shutterstock<p>The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a lot of problems for the general population, and these problems can be amplified and magnified by at-risk populations such as people struggling with addiction.</p><p>The shock of going through a pandemic can cause confusion, loneliness, panic, stress, and fear - all of which can be triggers for relapse. Adding to that being isolated or quarantined in your home (either by yourself or with others) can bring on boredom, irritation, and feelings of inadequacy, again - all of which can be contributing factors to a relapse. </p> <p><strong>How to cope with addiction during quarantine: </strong></p><ul><li>Alternative self-care methods (meditation, reflection, journaling) can help you find a new perspective and stay in tune with your feelings, which makes it much easier to spot (and prevent) a relapse.</li></ul> <ul><li>Maintain contact with your outside supports for sobriety - attend virtual AA/NA meetings, phone hotlines, or keep in regular contact with your sober friends to support each other. An entrepreneur based in New York City has launched an app called <a href="https://loosidapp.com/" target="_blank">Loosid</a>, which is dedicated to providing hotlines and online services to assist those struggling with addiction during this time. As of April 2020, the app has seen over 60,000 users - the app creator, M.J Gottlieb, tells ABC News that there has been a 93.8% increase in active users during the pandemic. </li></ul> <ul><li>Create a routine for yourself to occupy your mind and body, preventing boredom which can cause overthinking and stressful thoughts. </li></ul> <ul><li>Staying active or creating an exercise schedule in your home can provide you with a rush of feel-good hormones (endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline) that can help your body stay healthy during the quarantine. </li></ul> <p><strong>Awareness is key in preventing a relapse and maintaining positive mental health</strong></p><p>While<a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/social-distancing-math" target="_self"> social distancing</a> and lockdown measures have been put into place for very valid reasons, we simply cannot ignore the massive impact this has on our more vulnerable populations (people struggling with homelessness, addictions, and mental health conditions). The best way to support each other during this difficult time is to use online platforms to stay in contact and reconnect, keeping in mind that this is a very difficult time for some people. </p> <p>Being aware that the loved one in your life who has struggled with addiction in the past may relapse could be key to helping them stay sober. </p>