Social distancing changes tools of recovery for addicts

While people stay home during the coronavirus outbreak, some are fighting a war of their own - addiction.

News 12 Staff

Apr 1, 2020, 11:50 PM

Updated 1,518 days ago

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While people stay home during the coronavirus outbreak, some are fighting a war of their own - addiction.
Jess McCarthy is a recovering alcoholic and says the world isn't the same as it was a few weeks ago. 
"We’re not going to meetings and seeing people, and you know able to like reassure people face to face," she says. “We’re really relying right now on technology to do that for us.”
Alcoholics Anonymous for instance now uses virtual meetings, emails, phone and social media to keep that much-needed fellowship going. 
It is helping people who are trying to avoid idle time at home, which can quickly spiral into overthinking and cause people to slip into a grim past.
“You put all those variables together and you got somebody that may pick up a bottle and drink and try to chase their troubles away," says Dr. Harris Stratyner, a Westchester addiction psychologist.

Stratyner says his phone has been ringing off the hook with worried patients on the brink of relapse.

“When you’re feeling down, pick up a phone, call another alcoholic , you know pick up the big book, go to a meeting. Right now, meetings are more accessible than they are when the world is normal," says McCarthy.

Another option is what some doctors say is the best medicine - nature.

“Stand far away, you know 6 feet away from each other and take a walk, that’s a real good prescription for sobriety," says Stratyner.

And for those who might be struggling right now, McCarthy says to take a deep breath and relax. 
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