What Louisville addiction groups are doing to help people recovering in ‘scary new world’

Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier-Journal
Published March 21, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – At The Healing Place in Louisville, a residential center for people with alcohol and drug addiction, handrails, doorknobs and faucets usually are cleaned three times a day.

“Now we’re doing every hour,” said Karyn Hascal, president of the Healing Place, which houses 450 clients at the men’s center and 250 at the women’s center.

The spread of the coronavirus — with limits on public gatherings — has led to sweeping changes in almost every aspect of local drug and alcohol services, ranging from residential programs to outpatient treatment to group meetings highly valued by members of Alcoholics Anonymous and others dedicated to sobriety.

Much activity has shifted online, including meetings and counseling sessions. And facilities have stepped up cleaning efforts and social distancing in cases where people continue to gather.

 Officials with local recovery organizations say in times of stress, such as the current coronavirus pandemic — which includes job loss and economic hardship — it’s even more important to ensure people have access to therapy, meetings and other services.

Already, they say, they are hearing from anxious clients affected by the pandemic.

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