Cape Cod wellness instructor helping those struggling with addiction during stay-at-home advisory

HARWICH PORT, Mass. — It’s ‘bottom’s up’ for a lot of people stuck at home right now following the governor’s decision to extend the state’s stay-at-home advisory. But it’s become a bigger problem for those stress drinking, and for others already battling an alcohol addiction.

One wellness instructor on Cape Cod is hoping to keep those seeking help on track.

‘Liquor stores are essential right now, but so are you,’ that’s the sobering message one wellness instructor has as she works to keep those in isolation away from temptation.

“I know there’s a lot of you that have relapsed as a result of this, a lot of you are super fearful that you are going to,” said Ayanna Parrent, the founder of B Free Coaching and Wellness, in a recent YouTube video.

Those videos are one of the many ways the Cape Cod resident is now sending her support to those fighting addiction at home.

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“Everyone is completely vulnerable right now,” Parrent said. “Any isolation of anyone is the cause of depression, and it’s also the cause of addiction. If you mix trauma and anxiety and isolation, that is pretty much the reason [people] get addicted in the first place.”

The wellness coach runs her studio in Harwich Port. There, she teaches people exercise and meditation to help overcome alcohol and drug abuse.

“For Cape Cod right now, it’s super difficult because we have a lot of people in recovery right now,” she said. “It’s a big epidemic.”

While the studio remains closed, she’s now having coaches live-stream workouts to reach people at home.

“Use mindfulness, anything that you can do to bring joy into the moment and reduce any kind of stress,” Parrent said. “Self-care is super important right now.”

The urge to grab a drink isn’t just felt by people with a history of abuse. Experts say that extreme worry and isolation sparked by the coronavirus is likely leading people to increase their alcohol consumption.

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According to the research firm Nielsen, two weeks ago, the sales of alcohol increased by 55% nation-wide.

“When it becomes a response to stress, particularly when it’s in response to a pandemic, that’s when it becomes a problem,” Parrent said.

There are local resources for those seeking help. For a description of the types of substance addiction services offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, click here.