Social distancing is making it hard for people to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Attendees say meetings are only allowing 10 people at a time, making it difficult to remain on the road to recovery.
“We have this disease out there that says in order for us to come together we have to stay apart and its a paradox that we’re finding in A.A. and N.A. because the support of the recovering community is so important,” said attendee Jeff K.
Jeff K. is a recovering addict and one of the many people struggling to adjust to a new routine with the spread of COVID-19.
“I have talked to a few of my recovering cohorts and they struggle with it because it becomes a way of their life and now that’s being disrupted and that’s part of their support system that keeps them clean and sober.”
Corina Fisher, who is a counselor to some patients working to become sober, says it is important to keep structure in your life when you are feeling isolated.
“Finding that motivation to get out of bed every morning and finding things to do throughout the day to keep you busy,” said L.E. Phillips-Libertas Treatment Center and Prevea Behavioral Care Counselor Corina Fisher. “Doing those household projects, those types of activity are key right now.”
Jeff K. is keeping structure in his life by finding different ways to stay busy.
“Get on the internet if you can, call a friend, go for a walk and get in touch with something.”
But staying in touch with others through cell phones or laptops can be a challenge for some people in the A.A. and N.A. community because they may not have the resources to do that.
“This is a good time to stay connected and unfortunately a lot of the connection is through email, skype, doing a lot of other things on electronics and not everybody in the recovery community has devices to make that happen,” said Jeff K.
Fisher says while it may feel like an easy time to give up, there are still ways for anyone to get through these challenges.
“This is a significant change and recognize that and be prepared to take your recovery serious, get your needs met and know you’re just going to have to do that in a different route now.”