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Man drinks alcohol. (Credit: CBS News).

Alcoholics Anonymous turning to virtual meetings during COVID-19 pandemic

It’s a difficult time for everyone—but it can be especially isolating for someone struggling with addiction.

If you come to AA for help, they tell you not to isolate — but the pandemic goes against all of that.

“This pandemic has caused us socially to be distant from one another and that’s a real challenge for someone trying to recover from alcoholism because our message is the opposite don’t distance yourself, get close to people,” said Greg, a Lee County AA member.

Out of respect for the Lee County AA community, Greg asked us to keep his identity private.

He says the added stress of financial insecurity and health concerns makes recovery that much harder right now.

But they have managed to get creative and connect through virtual meetings and over the phone.

While their in-person attendance is way down—their online meetings are bringing in hundreds of members at a time from all across the country.

He says people are reacting to this time in one of two ways and he hopes it’s not the latter.

“Either they’re more likely to seek help or they’re more likely to seek the bottle,” said Greg. “Although it may feel like you are alone—there are others who are going through the same struggles.. just because we cannot necessarily meet face-to-face doesn’t mean we’re not there for them pick up the phone get on the internet,” Greg said.

Calls into the center for help have also gone up since all this started.

They say even if you just need someone to talk to about your situation — don’t hesitate to reach out.

For more information on how to get help, or to find an AA meeting in Southwest Florida, visit the Lee County AA page here.

 

Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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