North-east support groups fear people recovering from substance misuse problems are at risk of relapse during the lockdown.
Many of the groups, which provide a vital lifeline to those in recovery, have temporarily closed as a result of strict measures brought in by the government tackling the Covid-19 pandemic over the past five weeks.
Aberdeenshire Council’s community learning and development (CLD) service is now holding online meetings and events so people in need of assistance can still get access to help.
Tanja Mehrer, a CLD worker who is involved in delivering the virtual meetings, said the lockdown posed “very specific challenges” and that it “increases the risks of relapsing for those in recovery” as they are confronted with triggers.
She said: “In Aberdeenshire, in addition to the professional help available, a network of community recovery groups and community forums as part of the Aberdeenshire Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP) have been supporting people’s recovery journeys.
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“When these had to stop meeting it was essential we found other ways to help people through this immense challenge, so that people could continue to connect and support each other.”
A range of online support sessions are now available to act as a replacement for the sessions.
Participation is continuing to increase, and there has been a positive response to the initiative so far.
Those who do not have the equipment or confidence to participate in online meetings will be given tools and training.
Diane Ord, of Alcohol and Drugs Action, said all existing members are now connected online.
She said: “We created online equivalents for each of the existing recovery groups and meetings.”
The timetable is online at bit.ly/3ba0sVR