The coronavirus pandemic has put immense stress on millions of people in recovery for substance abuse issues. Staying connected to others is one of the most important aspects in recovery, but widespread lockdowns and social distancing requirements have left many people in recovery unsure of where to go for support. Here in Arizona, we are under a stay-at-home order. In response to this, many organizations and drug rehabs in Phoenix have put together virtual programs for people in recovery. In addition to virtual 12-step meetings such as AA, there are also a number of apps, online forums and even telehealth appointments that can help people access treatment.
If you are in this boat, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Not only are there other people facing similar circumstances as you, but also there are many online resources to help you stay sober. Let’s explore some of your options.
Online Meetings and Support Groups
Virtual support groups are being offered by all types of organizations, including Alcohol Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Each meeting is slightly different, so you can read through the descriptions and pick something that fits your needs. For example, some groups have guest speakers while others read sections from the Big Book. Also, it’s possible that your own AA, NA or other 12-step meetings have shifted to a virtual format.
Here are some places where you can find peer support:
This 12-step abstinence program usually referred to as AA, has extensive resources for those recovering from alcohol addiction. These meetings are open to any member or anyone who has a desire to stop drinking. The groups are offered in different formats as well. For example, you can call in for a phone meeting or click the available link to attend a Zoom meeting.
Like AA, NA offers a handful of meetings in a virtual format using Zoom, Skype and other platforms. You can easily find NA meetings, helplines and websites in your local area. The website does mention that it’s having a hard time keeping up with all of the online meetings they are receiving, so it’s best to use the available tools to explore your local options.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has an informative website that offers 24/7 support services. If you’re struggling with substance abuse or feel at risk for relapse, you can call the hotline for a confidential assessment. This service also provides referrals to local treatment centers, support groups, virtual AA and NA meetings and community-based organizations.
If you prefer not to call, you can use the online treatment locator to find a treatment center in your area. Most treatment centers in Phoenix remain open during this time because they provide essential healthcare services. You can also use the site to access information about mental illness and suicide prevention.
There are a number of smartphone apps that are made specifically for people recovering from addiction in Phoenix. Most are free, and because they live on your phone, it’s easy to note your progress. Use these apps to share updates about your journey, read inspiring quotes and chat with your peer support network.
Here are our top recommendations for recovery apps:
- Connections. This scientifically proven app can support your recovery by reducing your relapse risk and keeping you socially engaged. Use it to track your sobriety, access e-therapy, connect with trained counselors, journal about your recovery and so much more.
- Sober Grid. The Sober Grid refers to itself as the “world’s most popular mobile sober community.” It offers a personalized platform where you can share your progress with others, give and receive support and access 24/7 live peer coaching. You can also do daily check-ins and earn badges.
- I Am Sober. The I Am Sober app is more than a sobriety app. It helps you build healthy habits, provides ongoing motivation and connects you to others in the same point of recovery. Also included with the app is a sober day tracker and milestone tracker.
- Twenty Four Hours a Day. This app allows you to focus on your sobriety anytime, anywhere. It offers daily meditations and inspirational messages. Bookmark your favorites, customize the font and shake your phone for a random support message.
Telehealth (i.e., telemedicine, telemental) visits are not just for basic ailments. They can help treat substance abuse and mental health issues as well. These services are especially beneficial for individuals who live in rural communities or have difficulty accessing quality care in their communities.
Start with your insurance provider, as many are offering their own telehealth services. Or, ask your doctor or therapist about the virtual services they are currently offering. And, if you feel that you could benefit from additional outpatient alcohol rehab, the healthcare provider can work with you to coordinate care.
There is a fee to use telehealth services because you are meeting with a doctor. If you have insurance, you should only owe your copay. If you do not have insurance, you may have to pay a flat fee. Still, most of these services are relatively affordable and accessible.
Because addiction treatment is an essential service, most rehab facilities are open during this time. They are also taking additional steps to ensure their clients and staff stay safe and healthy. If you worry about maintaining sobriety, you can seek added structure and support through an outpatient program.
For example, Continuum Recovery Center is offering personalized outpatient treatment in a virtual format. This way, you can stay safe in your home while participating in individual and group therapy, speaking with licensed therapists, maintaining a healthy schedule, developing healthy habits and so much more.
Do not be afraid to reach out for additional support right now. Treatment centers remain open during the pandemic for people who want to get better. By seeking holistic outpatient treatment in Phoenix, you can get the individual support you need from the safety and comfort of home.
Aside from the virtual meetings and tools listed above, don’t forget to practice good self-care. Be gentle with yourself right now, as we are facing unprecedented times. Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions, nourish your body with the things it needs and stay close to your support circle. To discuss your options for outpatient rehab, contact Continuum Recovery Center today.