RECOVERING addicts, gamblers and alcoholics are turning to social media apps including WhatsApp and Zoom because support meetings have had to be cancelled.
Becuase of the threat posed by Covid 19, meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotis Anonymous, gamblers Anonymous and Al Anon have been cancelled throughout Cork.
A spokesman for Narcotics Anonoymous in the Munster area said the present situation regarding the virus "is hard going for a lot of people".
He added: "The phone has been very busy. Most of the meetings are closed. But all in Cork are closed."
He continued: "We are now doing a lot of group meetings online with people. We use Hangouts and Zoom for example."
He said the upturn in the economy which led to a boom in cocaine use in recent years has led to an increased demand for meetings in the Cork area, but this has now coincided with the arrival of the coronavirus, leading to the cancellation of meetings.
In a statement on its website, Alcoholics Anonymous said: "A growing number of members are concerned about personal health risk issues at AA meetings."
The statement continued: "The General Service Board of AA is aware that some AA Members are using WhatsApp, facetime, online meetings and other media platforms to stay in touch with each other.
"While we acknowledge all of these efforts to carry our message of recovery, GSBAA neither endorses nor opposes any of these initiatives."
And it added: "Members are encouraged to consider the isolated alcoholic who may not have access to these media platforms. Please reach out to members in your locality to let them know that we are still here for them. This is an opportunity for us to get back to basics and keep AA alive and well during these difficult times."
Gamblers Anonymous are holding conference calls to support members.