Coronavirus-imposed isolation is posing big challenges for people who attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Meetings have been cancelled indefinitely because of restrictions around the virus.
"The biggest impact I think is the isolation," a local organiser said.
"As an alcoholic, I'm most vulnerable when I'm isolated. My mind goes into overdrive and I overthink everything."
A lot of alcoholics don't have family around them "because of their behaviours when they were drinking".
He said the vast majority of people who relapse do so after they stop attending meetings.
"Meetings provide members with the opportunity to connect, listen and be of service to another alcoholic.
"Meetings are like our medicine. Members get to share their thoughts, fears and resentments in a totally safe environment, free from any judgement or guilt."
Some AA meetings are being held on the Zoom video conferencing app.
"The Zoom meetings are definitely a temporary saviour. But the positive and spiritual energy inside a meeting can't be replicated on a Zoom call."
And not all members have an internet connection.
Newcastle Alcoholics Anonymous urged members to stay in contact with each other on the phone "to avoid the feeling of being isolated".
"We can do this one day at a time," one member said.
He urged newcomers to call Alcoholics Anonymous on 1300-222-222.
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