Protecting Your Recovery During a Pandemic


Every American is aware the world is facing a pandemic that is escalating with each passing day. The number of new cases is increasing at an exponential rate. Everyone is at risk, especially people who gather in groups and shake hands or hug, which is precisely what people in addiction recovery do every day.

Some of you may have heard about travel restrictions, restrictions on gathering of 250 people or more, the NBA suspended its season, and late-night television hosts are no longer performing before live audiences.

The Coronavirus COVID-19 is changing nearly every aspect of life here in America and abroad. We all need to take precautions to prevent the spread and contraction of this potentially fatal disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released protocols and steps that you can take to avoid contracting COVID-19. Working from home if possible, avoiding physical contact with others, regularly washing and sanitizing your hands, and avoiding touching your face.

What Does Coronavirus Mean for People in Addiction Recovery?

Millions of people’s health and lives depend on attending 12 Step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous regularly. Naturally, the spread of a highly-infectious virus presents significant challenges for those in recovery.

AA’s Intergroups, the state arms of Alcoholics Anonymous that run the chapters of the program across the country, are starting to take action. For instance, AA’s NY Intergroup informed its volunteers and members that it would be closing its office tomorrow, according to The Daily Beast. The Intergroup also states that most AA meetings will likely move to phone calls and online-only.

In many states, Intergroups are allowing each meeting group to decide if suspending meetings is warranted. The General Service Office (G.S.O.) of Alcoholics Anonymous, a resource for people in the program, released a statement. The G.S.O. pointed out that “providing guidance on health issues is outside the scope of the A.A. sharing that G.S.O. offers.”

Still, the resource center did provide some helpful suggestions for people in the program, such as contacting your national, state/provincial, and local health authorities for appropriate information. In the G.S.O.’s statement, it mentions what some groups are doing across the country to protect their members:  

Some groups have discussed making changes to customs at their meetings. Some examples have included: avoiding shaking hands and handholding; making sure meeting hospitality tables are sanitary; or suspending food hospitality for the time being. Regardless of group decisions, each individual is responsible for their own health decisions. Some groups have considered contingency plans in case the group is temporarily unable to meet in person. Plans have included: creating contact lists and keeping in touch by phone, email or social media; meeting by phone or online.


California Addiction Treatment Center

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center, we hope that everyone in recovery is taking precautions to protect their health. HVRC will continue to follow the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19.

HVRC is a licensed Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital (CDRH). Please contact us today if you need assistance with addiction. We utilize evidence-based therapies and 12 Step programs to help people learn how to lead a life in recovery.