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COVID-19 coping tips and supports for people in recovery

Your health and wellbeing matters, especially at this time.

Published: 28 April 2020

Your health and wellbeing matters, especially at this time. The coronavirus outbreak has created a time of uncertainty and anxiety for people around the world, especially those who are trying to remain alcohol free and for those who are in recovery from alcohol addiction. The social distancing measures we are all being asked to follow means that services you normally rely on may no longer be available in the same way. You may be feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or have a sense of dread that can make self-care very difficult. You may have found yourself drinking or having relapsed following a period of sobriety. 

It is important that you know what supports are still available to you. There are also a number of activities you can do at home to help support you during this time. 

Tips for coping

  • Link with your own personal and trusted recovery network frequently by phone and social media
  • Connect with loved ones and people who support you and share your feelings with them  
  • Make your needs clear to yourself and identify people who can help with those needs
  • Have a structure to your day with healthy activities you enjoy such as exercise, learning a new skill, or practicing mindfulness and relaxation 
  • Try to avoid activities and situations where alcohol use is likely. For example, if family members are drinking around you, try to move to another space/room.
  • Have a look at the self-help strategies for living without alcohol and preventing a relapse on
  • If you find yourself not wanting to do any of the above, this may be a warning sign that you may be in danger of relapsing
  • If a relapse happens, remember that relapse is a common feature of recovery and it does not prevent you from entering recovery again

Supports and services

Although some services are closed, others are still available to you. We advise checking with the services and support groups that you usually attend to see how they are currently being run. A list of drug and alcohol services currently operating, along with contact details, can be found here:

A number of services are also running online support groups:

The HSE Drug and Alcohol Helpline is available from Mon-Fri. 9.30-5.30pm 1800 459 459  or email at anytime.

For people troubled by someone else’s drinking, the AI Anon helpline is open every day 10am – 10pm, Call (01) 8732699, Email and online at You can also find an up to date list of family support services on