During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, 12 Step Meetings, whether the meeting is Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and so on, were usually fairly easy to find. One could find a list of meetings in their area by the day of the week and time on AA.org or NA.org. A person could contact their local Church by phone and see if any 12 Step Meetings were hosted there throughout the week. Many 12 Step Organizations utilize Church resources and basements. Meetings also spread by word of mouth. Those who struggled with addiction were welcomed in with open arms to make connections, collect phone numbers, and pick up literature such as the Big Book (The Basic Text for Alcoholics Anonymous for AA or Narcotics Anonymous for NA).
The newcomer to a 12 Step Meeting was seemingly easy to identify. Most attendees in Recovery frequented the same meeting each week or often enough that a connection had been previously made. This does not mean that the newcomer was excluded. Whether it was before the meeting started or the “meeting after the meeting,” which is when connections made and conversations take place once the meeting ends. The newcomer was celebrated and welcomed with open arms.
In-Person Connections and Support Have Become Non-Existent
Once the Covid-19 pandemic started, these in-person connections became non-existent. Meetings could no longer be held in-person due to health and safety concerns. Many in the Recovery community suffered during these beginning stages of the pandemic due to the lack of support. These difficult experiences I found from those I knew personally and those I worked with professionally. The isolation, stress, and other various effects on a person’s emotions can be a trigger that leads to relapse. 12 Step Meetings and Recovery communities are an important safeguard and network that help those struggling with addiction make it through one day at a time.
The need for online meetings was there and those in Recovery met the call. A person seeking the support of 12 Step Meetings can yet again find a meeting at any day and any time. Virtual support meetings are accessible from a computer, phone, tablet, or any other electronic device. A person can also access a meeting in any language as the meetings are hosted virtually all around the United States and all around the world. Those hosting the meetings ensure connections for newcomers as well as lifting up those who have been struggling to maintain their sobriety.
Recovery Resources are Available:
- Online Virtual Narcotics Anonymous Meetings: https://virtual-na.org/meetings/
- Online Virtual Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings: https://aa-intergroup.org/oiaa/meetings/
- Online Cocaine Anonymous Meetings: https://www.ca-online.org/
- Online Marijuana Anonymous Meetings: https://marijuana-anonymous.org/find-a-meeting/
- Online Al-Anon Meetings (for the family members or friends affected by someone else’s alcoholism): https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/electronic-meetings/
- Online Nar-Anon Meetings (for family members or friends affected by someone else’s addiction): https://www.nar-anon.org/virtual-meetings
About Sarah Chun
Sarah is a Resident in Counseling providing counseling services through our Alexandria location. She completed her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Certificate in Addictions Studies from Immaculata University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Music: Vocal Performance from American University in Washington, D.C. Sarah is a National Certified Counselor and a member of the American Counseling Association. She is pursuing her License in Professional Counseling (LPC) for the state of Virginia and is working towards a certification in TF-CBT. To learn more about Sarah, click HERE.