Coronavirus: getting support

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a stressful time for us all but it can be particularly difficult for those of us struggling with our own or a loved one's drinking, particularly if our usual support networks are not available.

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Support for you

If you would like to talk to someone about your drinking, support is available. Following current Government advice, a number of organisations have set up support online or by phone.

  • The Alcoholics Anonymous helpline is open 24/7 on 0800 9177 650. If you would prefer, you can also email them at help@aamail.org or live chat via their website at www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk.
  • Drinkline, a free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else's. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm).
  • Drink Wise, Age Well helps older adults make healthier choices about their drinking as they age. Their webchat tool offers free support and is available Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and 6pm to 9pm.
  • You can join a SMART Recovery meeting online here.
  • We Are With You offers a free confidential online chat service. Available: weekdays - between 10am-4pm and 6pm-9pm; and on weekends: 11am-4pm.

Your local alcohol service may also be offering a remote service. You can access these services in a few key ways:

If you are currently attending AA or SMART Recovery meetings, they are giving updates on their plans in light of coronavirus:

Support in Wales

  • The DAN 24/7 alcohol and drug helpline is open any time of the day or night. Freephone: 0808 808 2234, or text DAN to: 81066.
  • The Newport-based alcohol charity Kaleidoscope have published a list of the support they and others can offer across much of Wales.
  • Barod, in the Valleys and Swansea, have a list of numbers you can call them on.
  • In Swansea and Neath-Port Talbot, you can contact WCADA.
  • Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan run EDAS, a “single point of access” service, who can put you in touch with whoever is best able to help you.
  • In North Wales, CAIS offer a range of support.

Support for family and friends

If you are or have been affected by someone else’s drinking there’s support available for you too.

  • Adfam supports families affected by someone else's substance use. Here are their top tips on how families can stay well and look after their wellbeing at this challenging time. For more information, visit adfam.org.uk.
  • The Alcohol and Families Alliance is a forum for charities and organisations working to help families affected by alcohol. Find out what each member organisation is doing to support people in need here.
  • Al-Anon which offers support and understanding to the families and friends of dependent drinkers. You can call their confidential helpline on 0800 0086 811 (open 10am-10pm). There are lots more resources for families and friends here.
  • Nacoa support anyone affected by their parent(s) drinking, including adults. Here are some of the questions that children often ask about alcohol and the effects on them and their family. Nacoa has also published a COVID-19 online resource pack. For more information, visit nacoa.org.uk, call 0800 358 3456 or email helpline@nacoa.org.uk. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs offer bereavement support and one-to-one support online or by phone to Scottish families. Their helpline is available on: 08080 10 10 11, weekdays, 9am-11pm; or you can email them at: helpline@sfad.org.uk.
  • If you are a carer, Carers UK offers information and advice on what coronavirus might mean for you or someone you care for.
  • Support for parents who use alcohol is an online resource for parents, based on Couple Coping Enhancement training.
  • Click is a relationship support portal covering a wide range of issues for couples gathering advice from experts and the community.

Mental health support

  • CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) support those who feel isolated, anxious, alone or suicidal. You can call the CALM helpline on 0800 58 58 58, available 5pm-midnight. They run a webchat service too from 5pm-midnight.
  • Mind has put together a range of information and advice on coping with the extra stress and anxiety brought on by the coronavirus outbreak and protecting your mental health and well-being. The helpline is available on: 0300 123 3393, weekdays: 9am-6pm.
  • The Samaritans have published a range of resources for those worried about their mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. If you need someone to talk to, you can call for free on 116 123 or jo@samaritans.org, available 24/7.

Read more about support