With stay-at-home advisories in effect across the country, most Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous in-person gatherings have been suspended. But for those in recovery, the battle to stay clean and sober doesn’t stop just because these support groups aren’t congregating until further notice.
Fortunately, however, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, AA and NA groups nationwide have found the next best thing to being there in person. Online meetings offer members at least some other options, as stay-at-home guidelines and building closures leave AA participants with few physical places to go.
People who facilitate these groups understand how vital it is for members of the recovery community to stay connected during this time. Attending meetings and sharing online may not be quite the same as personal contact and perhaps foreign to some, but as the Serenity Prayer says, we should accept the things we cannot change.
Unfortunately, there are many aspects of online meetings that members in recovery may miss—including hugs, hand-holding, and the human touch. But the bottom line is, our health and the well-being of the community must be a priority at this time.
That said, we don’t need to leave ourselves and others in recovery hanging. We can still offer each other support and emotional connections, albeit in a venue that is a bit different in which some may be accustomed. The important thing is to keep ourselves accountable and lean on others in times of stress to prevent relapse and promote continued wellness.
In fact, some have found virtual meetings to be more helpful than initially anticipated. People without transportation, who have disabilities, or those with young children or employment obligations may find it challenging to get to meetings. Those who are motivated to remain abstinent may attend more meetings more times per week, and in the end, this could be extremely beneficial in many ways far beyond the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing rules.
It may be that although most in-person groups will go back to normal when they get the “all clear” from the government, some may remain online, or individuals will use virtual groups as a buffer in addition to physical gatherings. While some meetings are mostly chatroom-like, others are conducted using video formats, such as Skype, so members can see each other and interact face-to-face.
To sum it up, these personal connections may eventually become essential for millions who need continual support from others in recovery, including sponsors, friends, and the community in general.
Getting on the Path to Recovery
If you are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, it is imperative that you do not try to quit abruptly and without medical intervention. Once a person is dependent on a substance, he or she will experience highly-unpleasant, often painful, and sometimes even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms when use is discontinued.
For this reason and others, any person who is trying to recover should undergo a medically-assisted detox following by a long-term intensive rehab program. In doing so, the individual can safely rid his or her body of toxic substances and in relative comfort.
Further treatment is then needed to address emotional concerns and the factors and underlying issues that led to the need to abuse substances in the first place. Also, people in recovery can improve their coping skills and relapse prevention measures that can help them foster long-lasting sobriety and wellness.
Getting Help for Addiction
Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery centers are open and screen all potential patients and staff for the coronavirus to ensure the people in our facilities are not exposed. We follow stringent cleaning and sanitation procedures to prevent the spread of infections and keep our internal community safe and healthy.
We offer comprehensive treatment programs, including detox, partial hospitalization, and residential formats. Our approach to addiction includes a variety of evidence-based services and activities, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Behavioral therapy
- Individual/family counseling
- Peer group support
- Health and wellness education
- Art and music therapy
- Substance abuse education
- Relapse prevention
- Aftercare planning
For many, the world has been turned upside down due to the coronavirus, and staying sober can be particularly challenging in times of stress and anxiety. But there has never been a better time to seek help. In fact, entering a treatment program can effectively protect individuals from COVID-19 while simultaneously cultivating a new life for oneself, free from the abuse of addictive, harmful substances.
We urge those who are suffering from addiction to contact us as soon as possible and find out how we can help you get on the path to recovery, one step at a time!