Alcohol is seen in this file photo. (Jonathan Austin Daniels/istockphoto.com)

While Canadians continue to face challenges accessing services amid the COVID-19 pandemic, addictions and counselling treatments moving online has made access to these programs more convenient.

“I’ve actually attended way more meetings than I did in-person meetings,” said a woman CTV has agreed to not name.

“I’m attending a meeting every day where I was just going to my home group once a week so I’m actually connecting more.”

Alcoholics Anonymous Saskatoon posted on its website how efforts are being made to continue with all meetings, however physical distancing and general health recommendations are being taken into consideration.

While in-person meetings will continue, participants are being asked to avoid hugging or hand-shaking and AA Saskatoon has suspended food hospitality services. It’s also spacing chairs farther apart and when possible, moving the meeting online.

Rand Teed is an addictions counsellor in Regina and his private practice has moved all appointments and session to online video chat.

“How you’re feeling is based on how you’re thinking so if you go into something thinking that this is going to work, it’s probably go into work,” Teed said.

“If you go in thinking this sucks, then your reaction is going to be negative. That’s s a huge piece of all this.”

However, an AA participant CTV News spoke to is concerned that some may turn to their substance abuse much easier than before.

“The concern is a lot of people are amping up their addictions and that’s a dangerous place for an addict to be,” she said.

Teed said he hopes with the ease of accessing help online or through video chat, people don’t use these changes as an excuse not to seek help.

“It’s important to remind people that ultimately we’re responsible for looking after ourselves.”