How to Foster Peer Support for Addiction Recovery During Quarantine
“You take the hand that is extended to you, and you turn around and extend your hand to the next person.”
Addiction and COVID-19: A Public Health Problem
The Importance of Peer Support in Addiction Recovery
How to Build Peer Support For Addiction Recovery in Quarantine
- Designate a sponsorship or mentorship chair for virtual meetings, and allow that person to connect potential sponsors with newcomers.
- Set aside time at the end of virtual meetings for new people to meet with the sponsorship chair and with potential sponsors.
- Ask members of virtual meetings to indicate if they are willing to mentor others.
- Cultivate new relationships through distanced get-togethers when safe.
Tips for Finding or Offering Peer Support for Addiction Recovery
- Lead by example by living a sober life.
- Let others in your group know you are willing to offer one-on-one support.
- Talk with your own sponsors or peer supporters for advice.
- Ensure you have the time and patience to commit to being a sponsor.
- Answer questions from newcomers openly and honestly.
- Set boundaries; sponsorship or mentorship does not equate to friendship.
- Getting plenty of rest.
- Eating nutritious foods.
- Using stress-reduction techniques.
- Asking for help when needed.
Accountability Tools and Tips for Staying Sober in Quarantine
Free Mobile Apps
- AA 12 Step Toolkit RecoveryBox. This app, which is free to download and also offers a paid subscription model, provides online sponsorship through Alcoholics Anonymous, sobriety trackers and strategies from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
- I Am Sober. This app helps people track their sobriety and connect with others who are at the same point in their recovery journey.
- NA Speakers. NA Speakers allows users to listen to more than 300 speakers from Narcotics Anonymous conventions, as well as recovery audio books.
- Nomo – Sobriety Clocks. This app allows users to create clocks that track the amount of time they have been sober or stopped a habit, and find accountability partners.
- Pocket Rehab. This free app offers 24/7 support for recovery through volunteer providers, allows users to search for local treatment and support groups, and stay accountable by completing daily tasks.
- Sober Grid. This online community provides a platform for people in recovery to find and offer support. The app also offers certified peer coaches for sobriety support.
- Sober Time. This app allows users to track addiction recovery, add goals, view daily motivational messages and interact with others in recovery.
- Phone or video calls.
- Group chats or texts.
- Message forums for local support groups.
- Physically distant in-person meetings when safe and possible.
Personal Accountability Plans
- Crafting a personal accountability statement.
- Learning personal triggers and developing strategies to avoid or handle them.
- Celebrating and sharing small victories and milestones in recovery.
Other Coping Mechanisms
- Establishing healthy routines, including frequent exercise and healthful eating.
- Engaging in spirituality, meditation or mindfulness practices.
- Spending time in nature, particularly when social distancing measures are in place.
- Exploring creative outlets, such as painting, journaling or crafting.
- Learning new skills through online courses or workshops.
- Maintaining connections with family and friends, in addition to peers in recovery.
- Attending therapy regularly, including teletherapy sessions.
- Enrolling in inpatient or outpatient treatment centers if addiction becomes overwhelming.