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Sobriety amid coronavirus: Sacramento’s recovery community moves online

Here’s how to stay connected when your AA meetings have been cancelled

CALIFORNIA, USA —

Some members of Alcoholics Anonymous might have recently walked into empty rooms, their meetings cancelled due to concerns of coronavirus.

Such was the case for Tim Collom, a Sacramento realtor and artist, who celebrated 12 years sober by posting an image on Instagram highlighting the significance of the vacant space. 

“I took this picture of our empty meeting room which is now cancelled to prevent the spread of the #CoronaVirus,” Collom said in the post. “The last 12 years I’ve depended on rooms like this and most importantly I depend on other alcoholics to remain sober. But I know this too shall pass.”

Sacramento County issued a stay-at-home order on Thursday morning, urging residents to only leave their homes for essential activities such as grocery shopping or getting medication. 

Despite large 12-step and Alcoholics Anonymous [AA] meetings being cancelled due to regulations on social distancing, the recovery community is committed to helping members stay sober. 

In light of stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, a virtual form of care–in which people interact via phone or computer–is gaining significant traction. Online communities are a popular option. 

Through teleconferences, online forums, and video chat, the recovery community is staying connected. 

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Here are some sites that have online AA meetings and recovery support groups:

Online Group AA Meetings   

  • English Language AA meetings use a Discussion Forum, active 24/7, 365 days. Online Registration and Sign in is required.

Alcoholics Anonymous Online Intergroup

  • 24/7 access to email, chat, audio, and forums meetings in a variety of languages, including Spanish.

Elevate Addiction Services 

  • Offers tele-health substance use treatment on top of our inpatient and outpatient facilities in Northern California.

Virtual-NA.org

  • Virtual meetings on a variety of platforms and media including Bluejeans, Zoom, Skype and Phones.

Narcotics Anonymous World Search

  • This search engine locates helplines and websites for local groups near you who can assist you in finding a meeting. 

AA is an interfaith recovery group. For people searching for secular groups, here are some programs that are offering online services and communities:

S.O.S. Sobriety

  • A list of online groups and/or meetings with virtual access to S.O.S. support.

SMART Recovery 

  • This calendar shows all upcoming online meetings and discussions for the SMART recovery community.

Women for Sobriety

  • An online space for women seeking recovery support.

Rational Recovery 

  • Online forums and teleconferences aimed at the Rational Recovery process. 

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