(WATE) — In these trying times it seems many are turning to alcohol to help get through social distancing.

U.S. sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55% in just one week in March and while many joke about the past time on social media, for others this is an incredibly difficult time.

WATE 6 On Your Side spoke with the regional substance abuse coordinator for Centerstone Regional, which provides mental health and substance use disorder services.

He says for many, this is a very isolating time and can cause anxiety.

“Treat your mind like a bad neighborhood. Don’t go there alone. When you need to sit there and think, and you get lost in your thoughts. Sometimes that’s not the best place to be.

The opposite of addiction is connection. Finding ways to stay connected to people.”

Michael Reynolds – Centerstone Regional Substance Abuse Coordinator

There is still help out there, despite the pandemic.

The East Tennessee Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous moving their meetings online through Zoom.

You can find the schedule at etiaa.org; you can also dial into a meeting by calling 408-638-0968.