Coronavirus: Lockdown leaves addicts 'close to relapse'

 It is not just shops and hospitality businesses that have had to close their doors during lockdown.

Social-distancing restrictions have also made it difficult for many counselling services to operate.

This leaves many recovering addicts in a "very vulnerable place" and "close to relapse".

Rosemary Rooney, of Davina's Ark addiction counselling service in Newry, believes online counselling is not a substitute for seeing someone face-to-face.

Many recovering addicts are unable to access digital platforms, she said.

"We would have around 60 people who would come here and because it's been so unexpected we've been unprepared for it," she said.

"The assessments had to stop. We had to close our doors.

"For those that have digital methods, we are able to continue using WhatsApp or Zoom but for others, they didn't have that available to them.

"That leaves them in a very vulnerable place. A lot of them were going through counselling for previous traumas and this is another trauma."


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