Recovery community finding new ways to keep their sobriety amid pandemic

Recovery community finding new ways to keep their sobriety amid pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic means social distancing. No bars or dining at restaurants; working from home and the shutdown of meetings like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous.

Now, the recovery community has been forced to get creative in an effort to keep their sobriety.

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"We can be our own worst enemy. Dealing with things that are going on inside our own heads. I like to say, I need to talk to people to talk me off the ledge, so to speak. To keep me grounded and to know there are people out there that care about me," said Toy Burton, Founder/Executive director of DeeDee's Cry.

Burton has been clean and sober for more than 20 years from alcohol and crack cocaine. She's seeing an increase in so-called virtual meetings on social media. An organizing arm of AA told Boston 25 News reporter Crystal Haynes "many groups have alerted local A.A. offices or hotline if they are temporarily not meeting in their regular space. Some groups have shared that they are utilizing digital platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or conducting conference calls."

"I think it's definitely needed. The people who put the Google Docs together, just compiling the research so it's all in one place, so people don't have to do the work. The links are right there," said Burton.

"There are a lot of things that are popping up and I think people are doing a very good job of helping one another," said Joe Kelleher, president of the Massachusetts Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.

Kelleher told Haynes some people are even holding outdoor meetings and just picking up the phone. Counselors are turning to telemedicine models.

“There are definitely, there’s a lot of teleconferencing and telecounseling that’s going on if people have the capability, so I think the profession is doing what it can to keep in touch with the patients,” he said.

Since we're stuck in our homes, those in the recovery space say this is a perfect reminder that AA is not a place.

For more information on virtual meetings and other resources, click here.