A RECOVERING alcoholic says he fears that people won’t be able to get the help they need because of coronavirus.

Alex Molyneux saw his alcohol problem come to a head in his early 40s after his partner found him collapsed in his home.

Thankfully, the now 54-year-old was able to get his life back on track and works as an admissions manager at Delamere addiction clinic in Cuddington.

But Alex is worried that not only will the stress of isolation or working from home exacerbate people’s problems, but that additional strain on healthcare budgets could see funds for addiction treatment slashed.

“At Delamere, we’ve been looking recently at the scale of addiction issues in Cheshire and Manchester, and it’s scary,” he said.

“Addiction affects everyone, and it’s vital that more and better help is made available to people, as the human and financial cost of not supporting people is too great.

“It’s inevitable that the additional strain people are under due to Covid-19 will exacerbate things and that isolation and working from home will allow problems to develop.

“Then, to make things even worse, public healthcare budgets are going to be stretched to the limit after all of this and under-investment in drink and drug treatment could get worse.”

Alex says that he is happier than he has ever been after switching careers to work at Delamere, and it was working from home in his previous career that saw his addiction spiral out of control.

“I’d always told myself that drinking was just a part of who I was - I worked hard and played hard, had built a successful business, had a Merc on the drive and I enjoyed a drink,” he continued.

“I travelled a lot and had my fair share of stress, so I told myself I deserved a drink at the end of the day.

“By the age of 30, I was drinking a bottle of vodka every day and did what a lot of alcoholics do and set up my own business working from home.

“Social invitations dried up and I no longer wanted to interact as the isolation suited me. At home, drink was only ever an arm’s reach away.

“By the time of my collapse, I wasn’t really able to function anymore physically or emotionally.

“My pancreas had given up and my liver function was down to five per cent. I couldn’t lie to myself anymore - I was an alcoholic.

“I spent three months in hospital and part of my pancreas was removed.

“Without alcohol as a crutch, I had a total emotional breakdown and it took me three years to get myself back together, during which time I attended Alcoholics Anonymous.

“I wouldn’t accept much help and realise now I’d probably have got better a lot quicker if I had.”

For more information about Delamere, visit delamere.com.