COMMENT: Help is there for those who need it during lockdown

Being confined to our homes except for some daily exercise and occasional trips out for shopping is challenging for all of us.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 12:00 am

Of course we understand that the restriction on our freedom of movement during the coronavirus pandemic is necessary to avoid spreading the disease and we know that staying at home can help to protect the NHS and save lives.

But the longer it goes on, the harder it can get. And for those alone during these worrying times, it must be particularly difficult.

Add into that the fact that you're a recovering alcoholic and then the imposition of lockdown can have serious consequences.

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Today we tell the story of Ellie, who describes how isolation can be a big danger for people in her position.

Denied the opportunity to attend the usual Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and to have that face-to-face support network to help address their addiction, she and others like her may risk going back to the bottle.

Ellie says: 'I would probably be dead if this happened to me six years ago when I was at the height of my drinking. Isolation can be a killer for an alcoholic. It is a very challenging time. When I was sat on the sofa earlier in the week it took me back to when I was drinking at home all the time.'

But, as we also report today, people like Ellie haven't been left alone. AA has a 24-hour helpline available, plus an online ‘chat now’ facility. That could be so important for the times when anybody needs to reach out.

We commend AA for providing that connection at a time when its help may be needed more than ever.

Its support along with the structure of a daily routine that doesn't allow time for low moods and dark thoughts could be so important in the weeks ahead.