WILKES-BARRE (WOLF) — With Pennsylvania practicing social distancing, many churches have had to close their doors, which can really hurt those reaching out for help,
A sign posted at Firwood Church says all activities have been canceled, including AA meetings, which have been suspended for two weeks.
While it says that'll be reevaluated at the end of the month, who knows if we'll be in a place where sites like this can reopen.
"We once started to compile a list of places that were closed. Now we're compiling a list of places they can go alternatively," explained John Fabiseski, a certified recovery specialist and trainer with the Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance.
Site after site after site have been shut down because of coronavirus, places that served as meeting places for those seeking or in recovery.
"If your connectedness is with groups, with individuals in the recovery field, and that's disconnected, it puts them at a real loss," explained Paul Brethen, the co-founder of Sober Buddy.
That's a problem that only increases with the closure of bars and state liquor stores.
"Imagine all of these people coming into the hospitals, already with COVID-19 overwhelming them, now with detox problems," said Fabiseski.
While treatment centers are still open to help with that, experts want you to know that in this time of social distancing, there are also online resources.
"Having feelings coming back that you want to drink or you want to use, being able to reach out to someone else and get that support to get through is so very important," said Fabiseski.
From anonymous chat rooms and online recovery meetings, to daily emails with tips and skills to help you through.
"Part of recovery is learning to overcome and not going back to the old way," added Brethen.
There has been a learning curve.
"A lot of people are just struggling to navigate that, they're trying to get it connected, so social media has been a big help with that," explained Fabiseski.
He has struggled with addiction in the past and says now he's been having virtual meetings almost daily, helping people through the rough patches and getting some support for himself too.
"At the end of the day, we're in this together and we don't need to drink or drug to get through this," he said. "We need each other."
If you're looking for recovery resources, we have a link to those here.
Family and friends of those in recovery are also encouraged to reach out to their loved ones. Make sure they're ok, and if you yourself need resources, you'll find them here as well.