HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — In-person meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can be key to staying sober, but because of the coronavirus, a lot of people are having to find alternatives online.
“I think for people that are especially newly sober, it’s a lot more difficult because they’re just getting into the routine of things and learning how to be sober, but all meetings have been canceled,” said Bevin Stepp, a woman in long term recovery and territory outreach manager for Promises Behavioral Health.
There’s nothing in-person for fear of spreading COVID-19, but online it’s a different situation, where meetings are held using Zoom or Skype.
“They’re around the clock at any time, people from all over the country, all over the world, doing these online meetings, so really trying to stay involved as best as you can,” Stepp said.
If you prefer, you can just have audio or dial into a meeting on your phone. There are plenty of websites that host them, including Intergroup for alcoholics Anonymous, Refuge Recovery and SMART Recovery.
“Take the negative and turn it into a positive where you can find out do you like to paint, do you like to read, do you like to meditate? All the healthy things that you weren’t doing before, try to start implementing them now because you have the time,” Stepp said.
Those are all good tips for those in recovery, but there’s another situation for those with an active addiction.
“Hospitals have a primary focus right now and it’s not outreach attempt. It’s really not even addiction, to be completely honest with you. However, there’s still a lot of places that are open,” said Paul Curci, regional outreach manager for DreamLife Recovery.
Inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, drop-in centers and warm hand-off coordinators are all still operating.
Help is out there if you need it.
“I think that because of all the focus being put on the viral infection, that nobody’s really considering whether or not there are still people out there that are willing to help them and the answer is yes there is,” Curci said.