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Friday, March 13, 2020

AA is Effective and Safeguarding Your Recovery Despite COVID-19

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HAUS Recovery clients attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous on a regular basis. 12 Step groups help men and women sustain their addiction recovery. Working with others keeps clients on track to achieving long-term recovery.

Perhaps you heard the news about a new systematic review that found Alcoholics Anonymous the most effective method for abstinence for people struggling with alcohol use disorder. The findings were published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Review.

"These results demonstrate A.A.'s effectiveness in helping people not only initiate but sustain abstinence and remission over the long term," said the review's lead author, John F. Kelly, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The researchers found that A.A. and treatments that facilitate TSF involvement (Twelve‐Step Facilitation interventions) usually produced higher rates of continuous abstinence than the other established therapies for addiction.

Now that there is some evidence of the efficacy of 12 Step programs, people attending meetings will likely want to continue doing so. However, there is a new problem that the recovery community must address: The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have attended 12 Step meetings, then you know that there is a lot of person to person interaction. People who go to meetings shake hands, hug, and sit close to one another. Since public health agencies recommend avoiding such behaviors, including gathering in large groups, the Coronavirus is more than problematic for those in recovery.

Guidance for the 12 Step Community

It's vital that you take every precaution to avoid coming into contact with COVID-19. Disease transmission is escalating every day in the United States. Hopefully, you will take the time to follow the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Visit CDC.gov for more information.

As it stands today, meetings are still being held across the country. However, the General Service Office (G.S.O.) of Alcoholics Anonymous has published a statement regarding COVID-19. They write about what many groups country wide are doing to safeguard the health of their members. 

Naturally, thousands of people in recovery have reached out to the G.S.O. regarding COVID-19 concerns. The resource center for A.A. members and groups states that each group has the right to hold meetings as they please, but each member is responsible for their own health decisions, regardless of their homegroup's decisions. The G.S.O. writes:
"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...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. Providing members information for the A.A. Online Intergroup (www.aa-intergroup.org) may serve as an additional helpful resource. If a group isn't holding its regular meetings, they may want to communicate this to local A.A. resources, such as the district, area and intergroup or central office."
At HAUS Recovery, we hope that you take steps to protect your sobriety even if you decide not to attend meetings for the time being. Make sure that you stay in constant contact with your support network and sponsor to safeguard your progress. Moreover, your health and safety are of the utmost importance. Please take every measure possible to prevent coming into contact with the virus.

Structured Sober Living in Southern California

HAUS Recovery will also be following the CDC guidelines on the COVID-19 virus to ensure our clients are protected. If you are in need of assistance for alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder, we invite you to contact HAUS to learn more about our programs and services. We want to welcome you to the HAUS, where you'll feel safe, grounded, and accepted.

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