Staying home isn't so safe for those in recovery - but online help is available

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and are right now people are aware of alcohol more than ever.

According to Nielsen, alcohol sales are up more than 50 percent. Online alcohol sales are up more than 200 percent.  

Among the posts that can be found on Facebook, some are amusing but for others, this sheltering in place has led to all day booze binges.

"If you're struggling with addiction this is like a perfect storm," said Laura Cadamone, licensed clinical social worker.

"First of all, there has certainly been a shakeup in the recovery community," said Tim. 

Perhaps the biggest shake up is that places where people in recovery gather are closed, because of the coronavirus stay home, stay safe order.
For now, there are no groups, no meetings that people in 12 step programs turn to for comfort and comradery."

"Because I wasn't around that, I started feeling irritable and that jitteriness again," said Joe, a recovering alcoholic. "And it didn't make me want to drink, but the mental process that gets me to the point where I eventually want to drink again, was starting."

Joe says his routine of going to recovery meetings that have kept him sober for years, was thrown off. He depends upon social interaction to keep him on the right path.

"If you isolate man, I think you're setting yourself up for some potentially rougher times," he said.

But isolating is what we're supposed to be doing, to make sure we want to keep from spreading the COVID-19 virus. But for those with the disease of addiction, being stuck at home and left to your own devices - can lead to relapse. 

Tim has been sober more than 20 years.

Rob Wolchek: Has this been very difficult at this time for people to stay straight?"

"Absolutely and I've spoken to several people who've: decided either give up and throw in the towel or who are contemplating that."

"They're not even trying to maintain, attain or achieve sobriety," said Cardamone.

Cardamone is a licensed clinical social worker. She says her clients with less than a year of sobriety are exceptionally vulnerable.

"The relapse triggers of isolation, stress and loneliness are huge," she said.

And while the regular places for recovery meetings may be closed, there are now cyber meetings day and night.  

It is something long-time 12-step members like Joe and Tim say were a little hard to get used to - but they work.

"We've been saying this for the last few weeks in meetings that this kind of feels like a reset for us," Tim said. "I'm hoping we can make this a positive reset and certainly for the recovery community, where we can pull people in, hold on to people and help each other strive and thrive to get through this."

Whether you're comfortable in your recovery, struggling to stay sober or just think you may have a problem, here are some links to get your started or in touch with people that can help: