Coronavirus isolation creates unique challenges for alcoholics, drug addicts trying to get clean

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Coronavirus isolation is making it harder for people battling alcoholism and drug abuse.

Myrover-Reese Fellowship Home is a group in Fayetteville that's spent nearly six decades helping addicts get clean.

"On any given night, you'd see cars rolling in and cars lined up down the driveway," said Bill Frye, former director of the Myrover-Reese Fellowship Home. "You come by here at night nowadays and the lights are off."

SEE ALSO: Cellphone data shows how well North Carolina counties are following social distancing rules

The halfway house was built 59 years ago for men and women who struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol. Lately, COVID-19 has been putting a strain on the most important asset residents need on their road to recovery: community.

"When people are drinking and drugging, they stay home and close the shades and peak through the blinds. That's not a good place to be. The more they isolate the more they think about negative things," Frye said.

Isolation can be sobriety's worst enemy. Staffers are forced to keep residents occupied in small groups by walking the nature trail or helping maintain the property. If they don't keep them occupied, there could be consequences.

"They'll start regressing and going backwards. Our job becomes more difficult. We keep trying to fill in the void," Frye said.

The COVID-19 outbreak has stopped the organization from allowing family visits, serving new clients and allowing outside agencies to serve residents.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Here's how the new paid sick leave requirements work

Instead all Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings are held online. For more information about online group meetings, click here.

This pandemic has also caused a financial strain on many nonprofit organizations, like Myrover-Reese Fellowship Home. It has been a challenge for those trying to stay sober and those providing services to help.

"We hope this is short-lived," Frye said. "Hopefully we can bring the community back together."
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.