Friday, March 27, 2020

Supporting Each Other In Recovery During a Pandemic

Much has changed in the United States since we last posted an article, owing to the surge of new COVID-19 cases and deaths across the country. At the time, in-person 12 Step meetings were still being held in many places, but some had already started transitioning to video conferencing platforms. Now, the addiction recovery community is conducting things quite differently, mostly meeting online and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

It's no longer safe to go places unless it's essential. Millions have filed for unemployment, and the government is working diligently to provide financial relief. Perhaps you were one of a large number of Americans who have been laid off or asked not to come into work until this crisis blows over. If so, then we are sorry for what you are going through and hope that you are coping in healthy ways. 

The public health crisis that we're all facing is escalating with each passing day. New COVID-19 cases are increasing exponentially, as is the death toll. Millions of people have lost someone that they care about, and experts warn that the trend will continue.

It's essential for each member of the Fellowship to put as much energy as they can into their recovery, while also protecting their health and safety.

If you have been following the data and news reports, then you know that America has surpassed every country in new cases. While the number of deaths is still less than countries like Italy, projections for the U.S. are not good, and we will likely see more coronavirus deaths than any other nation.

Supporting Each Other in Recovery Amid a Pandemic

There are currently 586,140 confirmed coronavirus cases around the globe, according to The Washington Post. Some 26,865 people have died from health complications caused by COVID-19 globally.

Here at home, 97,226 have tested positive for this life-threatening virus, and 1,478 died. At HAUS Recovery, we are keeping every family impacted by COVID-19 in our thoughts and prayers.

Each American has had to make significant sacrifices as a result of the pandemic. The addiction recovery community and people with other forms of mental illness have been impacted in many ways. Moreover, the risk of thousands of relapses is exceptionally high in light of the guidelines to prevent contraction.

Men and women recover together; they work in harmony to achieve the goal of lasting progress. While attending meetings from one's home via the internet is extremely helpful and has proven effective, not everyone has internet access. Some people's reality is hugely problematic when it comes to maintaining a program.

Self-quarantining is a form of isolation, which is a behavior that's never beneficial for men and women in recovery. Social distancing is antithetical to addiction recovery, but we must, in order to safeguard our well-being.

Now, perhaps more than ever, the Fellowship needs to be vigilant about looking out for one another. Calling each other regularly and helping those without internet capabilities acquire such services need to be a priority. This pandemic is likely the most challenging test for any one person's recovery. However, we can persevere if we work together and help our peers cope with stress and anxiety.

A Message from NIDA

You may have read that people with pre-existing respiratory and pulmonary conditions face significant risks of contraction. COVID-19 attacks the lungs. Unfortunately, many people living with addiction have lung disorders due to smoking and heavy drug use.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse published a statement warning that many people touched by addiction are highly susceptible to contracting the coronavirus, and their bodies may be unable to fight the virus if the breathing is already compromised.

If you are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, or another form of respiratory disease, then please be careful when leaving your home. What's more, tobacco users, vapers, and cannabis smokers are not the only people at risk. NIDA points out:

"People with opioid use disorder (OUD) and methamphetamine use disorder may also be vulnerable due to those drugs' effects on respiratory and pulmonary health." 

It's not easy to acquire hand sanitizers, masks, and other types of protective gear, which further puts men and women at risk. Hopefully, such goods will be more readily available in the near future. For more info on how you can avoid contraction, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization for guidance.

Southern California Sober Living

If you require assistance for drug and alcohol addiction, please contact HAUS Recovery Center to learn more about our programs and services. We want to inform you that we are following all state and federal guidelines to safeguard the well-being of our residents.

Friday, March 13, 2020

AA is Effective and Safeguarding Your Recovery Despite COVID-19

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 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 ( 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.