How 1 Year of Social Distancing Practices Have Impacted Americans with Alcohol Dependence

Addiction specialist, Dr. Melissa Fritsche, discusses what she has observed firsthand within her private practice pertaining to the pandemic exacerbating symptoms of alcohol-related addiction. She also explains why the doctor-patient connection built through in-person engagement is difficult to achieve using telehealth only methods when working with people on a deeply personal recovery journey.

Dr. Melissa Fritsche is board certified in both Addiction Medicine and Family Medicine. She began working in addiction in 2017, after feeling called to respond to the opiate epidemic ravaging our country, and now practices solely in this field. Prior to this, she worked in family medicine, urgent care, wound healing, and reproduction health. The unifying theme of her medical practice has always been to care for those others would not. She graduated from the Medical College of Georgia. After an internship in General Surgery in Atlanta, she completed her Family Medicine Residency in Spartanburg, SC. She is licensed to practice in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Dr. Fritsche’s unique love for her patients and vision for their care focuses on comprehensive care of the whole person. She believes that recovery is about redefining life goals, not simply about abstinence from a substance. She works hard to understand her patients’ stories, help them define their recovery goals, and patiently stand by them through the long and not always linear journey to recovery. Addiction is a “bio-psycho-social-spiritual” disease. Your Recovery Plans will include medication to support the very real symptoms of dependence and withdrawal. Psychological support is recommended with therapy and self-help groups. Community involvement is encouraged through education and outside activities that bring joy. Meditation, community service and self-care are routine parts of recovery. Dr. Fritsche will explore what might work for your recovery. She is also a strong advocate of harm reduction. Just tell her where you are in your journey.

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