Due to social distancing, there are some changes to recovery support meetings in the Low Country. Please click on the links below for more information:
Savannah AA Meetings. Some are suspended and there are virutal meetings. Please go to https://savannahaa.com/covid-19-coronavirus/ for an updated schedule.
Greater Savannah NA Meetings. Please go to https://gsana.grscna.com/?current-meeting-list=1 for a schedule and call the helplines for more meeting information.
Al-Anon Family Groups. Please go to https://al-anon.org/ for a schedule and call for more meeting information. If you are interested in an oline meeting, please go to https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/electronic-meetings/
Eating Disroders Anonymous. Please go to http://eatingdisordersanonymous.org/meetings/ for a schedule and meeting information. If you are interested in an oline meeting, please go to http://eatingdisordersanonymous.org/online-meetings/ or http://eatingdisordersanonymous.org/phone-zoom-meetings/ for more information.
Gamblers Anonymous. Please go to http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/location/state/table/VA?distance%5Bpostal_code%5D=31405&distance%5Bsearch_distance%5D=250&distance%5Bsearch_units%5D=mile to locate a meeting near you or to talk with someone.
Across the United States, social distancing and shelter-in-place are new ways of life for most of us. How our lives have changed in a few short months was unimaginable when we rang in the new year of 2020. As the nation continues to use social distancing as a preventative measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many people in early and long-term sobriety are wondering how to stay engaged and involved in their own recovery process.
For so many people and families who have been impacted by addiction, they know the importance of staying active in their recovery community. But how to do this when in-person meetings may be canceled and uncertainty is taxing our physical, emotional, and spiritual health?
Here are some tips to address your physical, emotional, and spiritual health while staying engaged in your recovery.
- Find meetings online: Look for virtual meetings since many in-person meetings are canceled.
- Website: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
- AA online virtual meetings via chat room: https://aachats.org (note, these are not monitored by AA and you need to sign up with an email to participate)
- NA virtual and phone meetings: https://www.na.org/?ID=virtual_meetings
- Find phone meetings:
- Alanon Meetings https://al-anon.org/al0anon-meetings/electronic-meetings/
- AA phone meetings via teleconference: http://aaphonemeetings.org
- NA phone meetings: https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/ (search by area code)
- Create Chat Rooms: Start your own chat group! If you are a sponsor or have a sponsor, create a chat group to be able to stay connected, see faces and know you are not alone. Include individuals who are new to recovery and may not have developed a strong sober support network.
- Get Active: It’s a well-known fact that nature, sunshine, and getting outside increases brain chemistry, helps settle your nervous system, and makes you feel happy. So practice safe precautions and stay 6 feet away from others but go outside. Spring is here. Take your dog for a walk. Enjoy the sunshine. Listen to the birds. You can also increase your dopamine levels by exercising. Try free online videos to watch and workout. If you like to work out with others, then Skype/Facetime with your friends.
- Try New Things: Be mindful of being bored. Plan your day so you don’t fall back in old patterns of isolating or doing nothing. Watch online concerts or a Broadway play. Take a virtual tour of a museum. Read a book. Try a new recipe.
- Watch your diet: Try to eat from all the basic food groups. Watch your binging on junk food. Drink plenty of water. Be mindful of your caffeine intake.
- Sponsorship and the fellowship: Everyone needs to feel connected. We know recovery is strengthened by human connection and support. Have a list of 1-5 people to reach out to daily. Call and ask someone else how they are doing. If you are feeling alone or isolated, reach out. Sometimes just having someone to listen to your thoughts and emotions is enough to change an old pattern into a new one.
- Therapy: Many therapists and outpatient programs are creating ways to set up phone and video sessions. Talk to your therapist or call a program and ask if they can set up a session.
- Be creative: Pick a project you want to try. Some people are working in the yard or tackling projects that have been on that “honey do” list for a long time. Others are painting, drawing, writing, or crocheting.
- Watch things that are funny! When you laugh, you release chemicals in your brain that make you feel better.
While this is a time that each one of us is facing uncertainty, remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
If someone you know is struggling, please call us at 912-355-1440. Together, we will get through this. We will thrive and not just survive.
Whether it’s a spouse, sibling, friend, or another loved one, supporting someone who’s trying to overcome substance abuse and addiction is often a complex and difficult task. Seeking professional guidance is a great first step, but there are additional ways to help and show encouragement. Here are a few tips for offering caring, compassionate support to a loved one struggling with addiction.
Remember That Addiction Is a Disease, Not a Choice
It’s a common mistake to think that those battling addiction can simply choose to alter or control their substance abuse habits. However, the truth is that addiction is a compulsive disease that affects the brain, not a lifestyle choice or moral failure. As with any other medical problem, supporting a loved one with an addiction will involve seeking professional treatment services and relinquishing any sense of direct control over the situation.
Put a Stop to Codependency
Ironically, family members and close friends of a person with addiction sometimes end up unintentionally enabling or fostering the substance abuse in an effort to show extra love and support. This is known as codependency, and it can be both difficult to recognize and damaging to the addicted person’s long-term recovery prospects. Professional guidance for the family members of an addicted loved one can help minimize codependency-induced patterns, and it can offer everyone positive, effective strategies for showing support.
Anticipate and Accept the Reality of Relapse
Instead of worrying that a loved one receiving treatment will eventually relapse, remember that relapsing is often an uncomfortable but unavoidable part of the recovery process. Instead of treating a relapse as a failure or a reason to give up hope, take it as a sign that it may be time to return to the doctor and develop a new treatment strategy. A relapse is a stressful event, but approaching it pragmatically and optimistically can help the struggling person continue to work toward treatment goals.
If substance abuse and addiction are negatively impacting someone you love, seeking professional guidance is a critical decision that can help combat the disease. Founded in 1984, Recovery Place has helped more than 20,000 people in the Savannah area through therapy, medical attention, and other support services. To schedule a tour to learn more about our services, contact us online or call (912) 355-1440 today.
Created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12-step model of recovery has been adopted by many support groups to help members overcome addiction to alcohol, narcotics, gambling, overeating, and other substances and behaviors. While many people know the first step—admitting there’s a problem—they aren’t sure what to expect when entering a 12-step program.
Understanding the Spiritual Undertones
There are some spiritual undertones within the 12 steps, but most programs aren’t affiliated with any religion. The guidelines recognize that an undefined higher power is at work; however, whether that higher power is God, love, nature, the Universe, or something else entirely, each individual can interpret the language to apply to one’s own spiritual or religious beliefs.
A Typical Meeting
Whether attending for themselves or to support a family member, many people feel apprehensive before their first meeting. Knowing what to expect can ease some of this anxiety. The meeting may be in a church or community center, and there may be quite a few people there. Some may introduce themselves, while others will stick to themselves. As they arrive, people will take seats around the person serving as the chairperson. The chairperson will start by leading certain group traditions, like reciting the Serenity Prayer, reviewing group literature and rules, and welcoming newcomers. Those who feel comfortable can introduce themselves, but no one is obligated. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no need to stand up and say, “I am an addict.”
Types of Meetings
Where the conversation goes next depends on the type of meeting, such as:
- Discussion meeting: The chairperson leads a discussion on a chosen topic from group literature.
- Beginner’s meeting: Led by a long-time member in recovery, beginner’s meetings take several forms, from Q&A sessions to discussion of the first few steps.
- Speaker meeting: A member in recovery may share their experience and how the 12-step program has helped them move forward.
- Step meeting: The group discusses specific steps from the guidelines.
- Service meeting: Members discuss service opportunities and activities.
There are several other types of meetings, some open to the public and some closed. The chairperson will guide the discussion according to the group’s policies.
Start the Journey to Recovery
While some debate the effectiveness of 12-step programs, the Journal of Addictive Disorders has published studies indicating that those who attend regularly for a long period of time may have a better chance of abstaining from addictive substances and behaviors than those who don’t. A strong support system and quality substance abuse treatment program can also help with recovery. Recovery Place offers a safe place for patients to explore their health and addiction issues while focusing on healing in a therapeutic environment. Our behavioral health team may be able to help address your addiction concerns, and we accept all private insurance providers. Call Recovery Place today at (912) 355-1440 to learn about our admissions process.