Supporting Your Recovery With Online Relationships During COVID-19

Written by Jonathan Strum

& Medically Reviewed by Kacie Chelli, MS

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Last Updated - 04/05/2023

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Updated 04/05/2023

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For many people, long-term addiction recovery requires a strong support system made up of family members, friends, loved ones and peers. However, the many risks surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult to attend gatherings and stay in touch with social groups. Fortunately, there are many online ways to stay connected with others and grow your support group even more.

How Isolation Affects Recovery Progress

With widespread unemployment, social distancing and a shift toward remote work, many Coloradans struggle with feelings of isolation. On top of this, in-person support group meetings are not recommended due to safety measures and capacity limits.

For people in recovery, this isolation can cause a greater risk of relapse. Other feelings, such as stress and even boredom, can make recovery difficult, especially if you have no support system to lean on. The pandemic is causing all these feelings to arise, making it more important than ever to reach out and find a supportive community.

The Importance of Creating a Community

The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake believes family, peer and professional support play a large role in recovery — a belief shared by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. With your recovery community, you can share your thoughts, receive feedback, learn about different experiences and find valuable strategies that can work for your situation.

These individuals can also hold you accountable for your recovery and keep you motivated to stay sober and continue bolstering your health. Essentially, your support network creates a way for you to improve continually, receive help when you need it and flourish throughout your recovery.

How To Combat Isolation During the Pandemic and Moving Forward

Though self-isolation and social distancing are vital strategies for combating the pandemic, connecting with others is still incredibly important. The following resources can help you to find support, become part of a community and receive the professional assistance you may need — all from the comfort and safety of your home.

Teletherapy

Many Colorado health care organizations have successfully transitioned to telehealth services, allowing patients to receive therapy virtually. Several of these online platforms provide similar counseling and therapy services. However, these resources may not have professionals who specialize in addiction recovery.

The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake telehealth app connects clients to licensed therapists and counselors who are well-trained in substance abuse treatment. Our online professionals provide the same evidence-based care you’d receive at our facilities, but it’s all done in an accessible and easy-to-use virtual environment.

Sobriety and Mindfulness Apps

Many helpful apps can help you access on-demand support, track your recovery success and find other valuable tools. For example, the I Am Sober app allows people to create pledges, track milestones, join different communities and access support.

The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake patient portal provides a wide range of helpful resources, including recovery videos, self-assessment tools, journaling services and much more.

Zoom and Other Video Call Apps

Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART Recovery have successfully switched to online meetings, allowing members to continue routine gatherings online. These groups typically meet through video conferencing services like Zoom or Skype. The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake also provides a recovery room app. This free-to-use video chat service allows recovery support groups to connect virtually in a confidential, private online space.

Group Chats

Whether with friends, family or support group members, group chats can offer support when you need it most. It can be especially helpful during early recovery when you’re still learning how to cope with cravings, triggers and stressful feelings that can lead to a relapse. When you’re going through these difficult situations, you can contact your group and find immediate assistance. You should also rely on your group when you aren’t struggling: your interactions can reduce isolation and reaffirm your ongoing commitment to recovery.

Forums

In addition to hosting virtual meetings, Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART Recovery have community forums that allow people to share experiences and provide support. Even if you do not post in these forums, you can find helpful strategies and tips that can assist you in your recovery.

Help Is Available

Though support groups and online resources can help you throughout your recovery journey, it can be difficult to start recovery without professional treatment. Our experts at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake provide evidence-based care that can help you create the foundation needed for lifelong sobriety and health. Contact us today to learn more about treatment programs and plans that can work well for your needs.

Sources

Hindi, Saja. “Coloradans recovering from addiction fig[…]oronavirus pandemic.” The Denver Post, May 11, 2020. Accessed January 11, 2021.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery.” 2012. Accessed January 11, 2021.

Jewell, Tim. “The Best Alcohol Addiction Recovery Apps of 2020.” Healthline, July 31, 2020. Accessed January 11, 2021.

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