BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Research shows more than 20 million Americans are battling a substance abuse problem, and for those in recovery right now, the novel coronavirus has presented new challenges to stay sober.

20-year-old Ezra Baden from Rossford, Ohio is in recovery and has been sober for a little over a month now.

“It’s important to stay active in early recovery, even in later recovery, boredom is a very strong trigger. It will take you to dark places,” Baden said.

For those in recovery, isolation may be last thing they want to be faced with. Add general anxiety surrounding a virus into the mix, and addiction avoidance becomes even more difficult.

“A lot of mental health issues are spiking up, being home with families all of the time can be stressful, there’s a lot of financial trouble right now, people are losing their jobs,” Michael Silberman, COO of Amatus Recovery Centers, said.

At Amatus Recovery Centers, many services are now offered through Telehealth instead, but their doors remain open for new clients.


“We’ve actually seen an 18 percent increase of admissions,” Silberman said.

Counselors and clinicians are working around the clock to make sure those struggling with addiction stay on the right path to recovery.

Those in recovery said it’s so important right now to not let social distancing create isolation.

“I hope to God this coronavirus is taken care of soon, but my addiction is something that I cannot put on the side,” Baden said. “I’ll have to be focused on it for the rest of my life.”

Amatus Recovery said it is in the works to open a new 24 bed detox facility in Baltimore County within the next six months.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.