Feelings of anxiety and isolation may lead to trouble for people who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. They can't attend in-person meetings or connect with family and friends like they used to, and a lot of their support systems have been taken away.
Recent research from Nielsen shows liquor sales are up 75 percent and online alcohol sales have skyrocketed by over 240 percent.
“We are fighting this invisible enemy. People are having financial difficulties, people are losing their jobs, people are having relationship difficulties,” said neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez. “Anxiety and alcohol abuse really goes hand-in-hand.”
In order to deal with the hardships at hand, Hafeez said it is important for people to create a sense of structure.
Speaking to a therapist on Zoom or attending virtual Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are a couple ways to productively spend time throughout the day.
MJ Gottlieb, the CEO and founder of an app called Loosid meant to support people recovering from addiction, developed the app out of his own experience.
The app offers virtual resources to help maintain sobriety, as well as sober dating and other virtual events for people to connect with each other.
“You can be completely anonymous and get the help that you need. The interaction and engagement and connection is key, and there’s no barrier of entrance,” he said.
The app has seen a 106 percent spike in users since March.