(NBC News) Efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus are forcing the cancellation of in-person alcohol and drug recovery meetings, putting those who are working to stay sober at a heightened risk of relapse.
“Suddenly we’re being told to socially distance ourselves, we’re not allowed to hold hands and say the serenity prayer like we’re used to,” says William Moyers, vice president of public affairs for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. He’s been in recovery since 1994.
The cancellation of in-person 12-step programs, and many of their alternatives, is leaving those in recovery without critical support a time of high anxiety and worry.
“I think we’ll have an increased relapse rate at all stages of recovery because of these circumstances,” says Dr. Marvin Seppala, the foundation’s chief medical officer.
Still, recovery programs aren’t giving up, but instead, pivoting by taking meetings online via Skype and Zoom.
The Hazelden betty ford foundation quickly expanded their “Recovery Go” platform that was set to launch in two states before the pandemic to all locations.
“In virtual programing we have about 80 percent of people who were in our face-to-face programing and that’s within the first few days,” Dr. Seppala’s says.
Read more: https://nbcnews.to/2xCya7D
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