Online Help to Stay Sober During a Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has put severe stress on millions of people in recovery for substance use issues, as well as on friends and family who are trying to stand by them. Connection is considered an antidote to addiction, but the bans on gatherings have abruptly shut down support groups, leaving many people floundering for safety nets.

In response, many organizations are quickly making virtual meetings and counseling available on numerous platforms. Apps help people track their habits, meditate and find a community of peers. Here are some options, almost all of which are free.

For People Struggling with Drugs and Alcohol

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Federal hotline offering referrals to local treatment and support services.

Narcotics Anonymous Meetings worldwide for people struggling with drugs. Directory of online meetings, using Zoom, Skype and other platforms.

SMART Recovery Abstinence-based international organization that uses a cognitive behavioral therapy tool kit. Has a directory of online meetings.

AA-Alcoholics Anonymous The worldwide 12-step abstinence program has extensive online resources.

Recovery Dharma This organization uses Buddhist practices and principles to support individuals in recovery. Directory of daily online meditations and meetings.

Women for Sobriety Dedicated to helping women recover from substance use disorders, with online gatherings.

LifeRing Organization focusing on practical, secular support, with online meetings.

Moderation Management For people seeking to moderate their drinking and not necessarily abstain, this growing group has an international network of online meetings.

Cocaine Anonymous Online International group offering online support through email and voice-only conference calls.

In the Rooms Clearinghouse of 30 online meetings offering supports with a variety of approaches to different substance use disorders.

Free Apps

There are many free apps available. Here are just a few:

Connections Evidence-based, multipurpose app to help track sobriety and connect with supportive peers and Addiction Policy Forum counselors.

I Am Sober Popular, well-regarded app for planning and maintaining recovery.

SoberGrid Large online sober-support community and peer counseling.

For Those Who Support People in Recovery

Nar-Anon Global support network for those affected by someone else’s addiction. Live chat and forum available.

Al-Anon Using a 12-step focus, this organization offers online and phone meetings for those whose friends and relatives struggle with alcohol use disorder, among other substances.

Families Anonymous Offers online 12-step meetings for family and friends with a loved one struggling with drugs, alcohol and related behavioral problems.

SMART Recovery Friends and Family This secular, cognitive behavioral-based program offers online meetings for families and friends of someone recovering from substance abuse.

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