For many people who struggle with alcohol issues, creating and maintaining healthy social connections is an important factor to either staying sober or continuing to work towards sobriety. Fellowship is a big part of the recovery process. This typically means physical meetings with other people who are in recovery or working towards recovery.
Many recovery support groups encourage members to attend several meetings per week, during which they are invited to share their experiences and connect with others in person. At a time like this, when people are being asked to socially distance themselves – and in some cases, shelter in place – this process has become more difficult. In addition, social isolation may be causing people to feel even more vulnerable in their recovery journey and potentially triggered to pick up an alcoholic beverage.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline
Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information services (in both English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Fortunately, technology has made it easier to connect with other people almost anywhere we find ourselves. As we all continue to practice social distancing, some recovery and support programs have begun offering 12-step meetings online. Recovery apps are also available and already being used by many people in recovery as a source of support to help maintain their sobriety.
While everyone may not be comfortable with or enjoy connecting to an online community, being isolated and not taking advantage of these options can make recovery even more challenging. We urge everyone in recovery to find ways to connect.
The following list includes online recovery resources:
In The Rooms is a free online recovery tool that offers 130 weekly online meetings for those recovering from addiction and related issues. In The Rooms embraces multiple pathways to recovery, including all 12 Step, Non-12 Step, Wellness and Mental Health modalities.
DynamiCare Health is a telehealth recovery program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they are offering a free recovery support meeting every day at 12 p.m. Eastern.
Online Group AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings
Virtual NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings
Al?Anon is a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking
The following free recovery apps can be downloaded and used on your cell phone – Android and iPhone options exist for each app:
Nomo lets you create and share sobriety clocks to track the number of days you’ve been sober, unhealthy habits you’ve gone back to or anything else you want to track. Find detailed breakdowns of your progress to the minute and earn chips when you reach milestones in your recovery.
Sober Grid is the largest mobile sober community and is a personalized resource for tracking and sharing progress with others, including giving and receiving support.
Lastly, Facebook and other social media sites offer access to AA, NA, Al-Anon and other types of support groups. You may also have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or Member Assistance Program (MAP) through your local LIUNA health and welfare fund.
[Jamie Becker is the LHSFNA’s Director of Health Promotion.]