Recovery, Digital Meetings, and Social Distancing

At Pacific Shores Recovery, we are hopeful that you are doing everything in your power to protect your health and recovery. These are trying times due to the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging communities around the globe. For those of you in recovery, it’s essential to continue putting your recovery first, while also safeguarding your physical health.

Millions of Americans depend on 12 Step fellowships like Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.). As we’ve stressed in previous articles, attending meetings and calling your sponsor every day are vital to achieving long-term recovery.

Depending on where you live, in-person meetings may no longer be taking place. If that is the case in your area, then you must utilize the skills you learned in treatment and the rooms of recovery to protect your program.

You probably have several members of your homegroup in your contact list. Please reach out to your support peers throughout the day to check in with them and to share if you are having difficulty. Again, call your sponsor as much as you need to and continue adhering to your routine, sans meetings, of course.

Read your recovery materials when you are free. Continue your prayer and meditation practices in order to stay grounded and reduce your stress levels. Since many people in recovery struggle with change, altering one’s daily practices can be off-putting. While the threat of contracting a potentially deadly disease is scary, please do what you can to remain calm during this time of adversity.

Remember, you still have resources, even if you can no longer attend A.A. or N.A. meetings. The helping hand of recovery is always there, but now in a more figurative sense. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services has several tips and advice for groups and members.

The Paradox of Social Distancing in Recovery

Early on, men and women in recovery learn that isolating is a slippery slope toward relapse. Addiction experts and sponsors alike always encourage embracing and fostering relationships with others in recovery. Those who follow such advice are better able to stay accountable and responsible, which protects against relapse. However, the Coronavirus is making it extremely challenging not to isolate.

With the above in mind, we encourage each member of recovery to utilize the resources available online. We also ask that you communicate your thoughts and feelings with your support network. Call before you fall!

The General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous or G.S.O. is a resource center that serves as a repository for collective knowledge. The resource center of the shared group and member experience is essential now more than ever given this unprecedented public health emergency.

Since the pandemic became a reality, the G.S.O. has been releasing regular statements about how groups and members are protecting their recovery and health. It’s paramount to note that the G.S.O. is not an authoritative body, which means it doesn’t make the rules or mandates. Instead, it guides the Fellowship regarding what the body has learned.

Many are following ‘’social distancing’’ guidelines established by local, state, provincial, and federal officials, while at the same time maintaining their recovery and attending digital A.A. meetings.

Recovery in the Digital Age

First and foremost, the G.S.O. recommends that you contact local, state, provincial, and federal officials for more information on social distancing guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can be a valuable resource; please click here to learn more. The G.S.O. writes that since many meeting houses are locking their doors, many people in recovery are:

“Maintaining their recovery and attending digital A.A. meetings. By attending digital meetings, groups can focus on A.A.’s primary purpose: to carry its message of recovery to the alcoholic who still suffers. Some groups have shared that they are utilizing digital platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or conducting conference calls. A.A. groups are also creating contact lists, keeping in touch by phone, email or social media.”

The G.S.O adds that many local A.A. central/intergroup offices have updated their websites with information on how to change a meeting format from “in-person” to a digital platform. In response to the global outbreak, the internet has become a vital lifeline for people in recovery.

Social distancing and attending digital meetings could be a reality for some time to come considering reports indicate that matters are worsening daily. Here in California, home to Pacific Shores Recovery Center, there are 1,184 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 20 deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health. In total, there are 16,366 confirmed cases in the United States, and 215 people have died.

Please take the severity of this public health crisis seriously, especially if you are elderly or have a weakened immune system. Do what you can to help prevent disease transmission and protect your recovery at all costs.

Southern California Addiction Treatment and Sober Living

At Pac Shores, we are strictly adhering to the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. The health and safety of our clients is our chief priority. Please contact us today if you would like to learn more about our addiction treatment recovery programs and sober living. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have with seeking treatment during an outbreak.

Even though we are all dealing with this unprecedented public health crisis, our team is still committed to meeting you where you are and guiding you to where you want to be.