"I couldn't imagine getting sober right now, without having a physical place to go to."
BEND, Ore (KTVZ) -- While states have implemented mandates for people to socially distance from one another, those battling alcohol and drug addiction are potentially missing out on an important part of recovery, person-to-person interaction and group sessions.
Meetings geared to help those in recovery like Alcohol Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are now utilizing online resources and mobile apps.
A 28-year recovering addict, addiction treatment counselor, Erin M., said she couldn't imagine trying to get sober right now without having a physical place to go. She says In the Rooms, an online forum that hosts a variety of 12-step program meetings, has seen a surge in the number of addicts seeking help.
"Usually, a big number of participants in the meeting would be around 100 to 120," Erin said. "Now, well, since this pandemic, we're getting 400 to 500 people. It's crazy!"
With many people losing their jobs and loved ones, and many simply living in a state of fear if not panic, staying home during this pandemic has become a breeding ground for potential relapses.
Page N. is a recovering addict for 10 years who attends meetings and suffers from a dual diagnosis of alcoholism and depression. He says people need to take advantage of the online options but they also need to get out, recreate and exercise.
"One of my fears was that people in recovery, they tend to like to stay inside and isolate," Page said. "Its a good excuse to start drinking, and for depressed people, they also like to isolate. So one of my fears was that, if people stay inside and don't get out, they may start drinking or become suicidal."
Page says being outside is sometimes the only way he can clear his head.
To find resources to help during this time, visit In the Rooms chat groups. It is a free service geared to giving people around the world through an online addiction recovery community.
Alcohol and drug treatment center, BestCare Treatment Services in Redmond has increased virtual services for clients. They are also incorporating calls out to clients to ensure their well-being is being maintained during this time. Rick Treleaven says social service resources out in the field have decreased now since social distancing orders have been set.