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3 Tips to help you Maintain your Sobriety during the Pandemic

For many people, recovery from alcohol or substance use can be a lifelong process, no matter how many days, weeks, months or years sober they are. Now, along with all of the other changes and struggles that people are facing, they’re having to find new ways to stay sober without being able to see other people in person.

“For people who struggle with sobriety and find group support essential, the ban on in-person gatherings could be a huge setback to their recovery,” says Michael Chesek, Supervisor of Inpatient Clinical Services for Centerstone’s Behavioral Hospital and Addiction Center. “Unless we do some serious outreach and work with our clients, our friends and our family members, it’s very possible that we’ll see a tragic increase in overdoses, reversing the declines we’d been seeing recently. This is something we all need to be aware of and work to prevent.”

Here are some things people can do to help maintain sobriety:

  • Seek help online. Group meetings are often a first line of defense for those recovering from substance use disorders. Even though the in-person meetings might have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are still plenty of meetings that are available for people to attend online. These “virtual meetings” have been held for a long time, but they’re seeing a huge increase in attendance during the current crisis. For a listing of online, virtual Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, click here or here. For a listing of online, virtual Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings, click here or here.
  • Distance, but don’t isolate. People in recovery already deal with isolation, which can contribute to their addiction. Add in some new anxiety surrounding the virus, and addiction avoidance becomes even more difficult. That’s why it’s important for all people to find ways to maintain contact with friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers and others, even if they can’t have close contact. And thanks to technological advances, this can be accomplished via text, phone, video and much more while also staying safe.
  • Try something new. Experts say one good way for people to “get out of their heads” is by finding something to occupy themselves, and this crisis presents a unique opportunity. By being told to spend time at home, people now have the chance to explore new hobbies, such as gardening, carpentry, puzzles, exercise, reading – the options are endless.

Through this crisis, Centerstone remains fully operational and continuing to serve our clients and communities. As always, the health and well-being of our clients, staff and community stakeholders is our main priority. We have implemented system-wide strategies that reduce the risk of exposure while preparing us to respond effectively in the event the current threat level escalates. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure at this time, almost all appointments are being conducted via telephone or telehealth (video). For more information, please click here.

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