By Tara Rippin • 20 March 2020 • 16:02
SUPPORT ONLINE: Digital conferences are among efforts being made to support the vulnerable at home. CREDIT: Samaritansin Spain
AS the nation is forced into lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus, many people on the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and elsewhere are confined to their homes dealing with their own battles, such as addiction.
With community venues across the coast closed, alcoholics and drug addicts will be feeling acutely isolated, perhaps suffering with withdrawal symptoms and feeling they have nowhere to turn with support meetings cancelled.
Concerned that this could have catastrophic long-term effects, groups, organisations and churches are opening up their services online, with the underlying message: ‘locked down, but not locked up’.
In response to feedback from anxious members concerned about the lack of addiction meetings as the nation is gripped by COVID19, a reformed addict and therapist from the Costa del Sol has set up a conference meeting called Costa AA on gmail Hangouts:
There will now be daily ‘meetings’ online during the ‘state of alarm’, for those affected by a dependency on alcohol, cocaine and other narcotics.
To join ZOOM meeting for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), ID’s are as follows:
AA every day at 7pm, meeting ID number 6691553814; Monday AA, 6.30pm, meeting ID 642174110; Wednesday CA 8.30pm, ID 793952257; Thursday NA 8pm, ID 755387561; Friday CA 6pm, ID 7939522573; Saturday NA 6pm, ID 755387561; Sunday CA 12 noon, ID7939522573.
Samaritans in Spain has had to close its charity shop and drop-in centre in Torrevieja in line with COVID19 crisis measures, but its English-speaking team of volunteers are still on hand to take calls.
A spokesperson said: “Thanks to our wonderful team of listeners, we will still be answering calls as they have agreed to support the service remotely, as best they can.”
If you need to talk to somebody, call freephone 900 525 100.
Meanwhile, The Wave, Puerto Banus Christian Church, is inviting people to join a Sunday service online https://www.facebook.com/wavebanus
The service can be viewed at 11am, or any time afterwards.
On behalf of the church team, Kurt Kettner-Borough, posted: “Since we can´t be together person-to-person, yes, I will miss those kisses and hugs, let´s be together online! It´s second best in my opinion but let´s do it with our whole heart!!!
“Be creative and enjoy it and we will emerge much stronger in the grace and joy of the Lord and in our appreciation of one another.”
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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