Online meetings a virtual lifeline for those in alcohol, drug recovery programs during coronavirus pandemic


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — 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.

Despite social distancing, recovery programs are not giving up. Many are instead pivoting, taking those meetings online via Skype and Zoom. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation quickly expanded its “Recovery Go” platform.

It was set to launch in two states before the pandemic. Now, it’s available in all locations to meet the increased need for online meeting access.

“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,” said Dr. Marvin Seppala, Chief Medical Officer Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Until in-person meetings resume, online resources could be a virtual lifeline in a pandemic.

Organizations offering virtual or over-the-phone sobriety support:


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