COVID-19: Online and Remote Resources for Addiction Support
We know how important it is to have support during this uncertain time. We are here for you, and our free and confidential helpline services continue to be available.
As family members, we find ourselves on a parallel path with our loved ones – whether they are in active addiction or on the recovery journey. While addiction thrives in isolation, connectedness nurtures recovery. We enhance our emotional, social and spiritual wellness by surrounding ourselves with others who understand us because they share our journey.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has put together information on the potential implications of this pandemic on those who struggle with substance use disorder.The social distancing that is required during this COVID-19 outbreak has put a strain on families impacted by addiction. Self-imposed isolation can disconnect us from the very tools that keep us resilient and strong, making us vulnerable to fear.
Fortunately, we live in a digital age where we have so many ways to connect electronically. This includes everything from e-mail to texting as well as internet message boards, social media platforms, video conferencing and an array of podcasts to name a few.
We offer an online support community, hosted by specially trained parent coach facilitators and clinicians. There is no cost to join and the meetings offer support for parents struggling with a child’s substance use amid this time of increased stress and isolation. To learn more, visit drugfree.org (Center on Addiction and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids merged in 2019. Learn more here).
Addiction Support for Families & Individuals
In addition to online resources that local groups may offer, families and individuals in need of support and connectedness have many free online and phone-based options that include the following:
- 12-Step Online (Al-Anon and other variations are offered)
- Al-Anon phone meeting
- Allies in Recovery (membership fees apply in some states)
- Families Anonymous
- Herren Project Online Support Groups
- In the Rooms
- Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL)
- Recovery Dharma (co-dependency groups)
- SMART Recovery for Family & Friends (CRAFT tools integrated)
- The Support Group Project
Adding to the array of online resources are numerous (free) podcasts available to families. A few include the following:
- Center for Motivation and Change: The Beyond Addiction Show (with Dr.Josh King)
- Hazelden Betty Ford- Let’s Talk: Addiction and Recovery Podcasts (with William Cope Moyers)
Mental Health Resources
There are opportunities to connect with therapists who provide online counseling. If you or a loved one is in need of a counselor who provides online services, Psychology Today can help you locate a resource.
The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (NFFCMH) is a national organization that supports families facing emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges in their children. NFFCMH is using Facebook and Pinterest to share helpful crafts and educational activities, along with useful tips on talking to children about COVID-19.
Mental Health America is a community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.
Child Mind Institute is a national nonprofit focused on helping children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. In addition to many great resources, they are providing daily Facebook video chats with clinicians, remote evaluations and telemedicine as well as daily tips and resources that parents can use to address COVID-19.
The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is a non-profit dedicated to supporting people impacted by mental illness. They have created a COVID-19 information and resource guide specifically for the NAMI community. If you need immediate assistance, the Crisis Text Line is open 24/7 - text NAMI to 741741.
Finally, the Disaster Distress Hotline is staffed 24/7 by crisis counselors who are able to support anyone experiencing emotional distress caused by a natural or human-caused disaster. You or a loved one can reach this hotline at 1-800-985-5990 or by texting “TalkWithUS” to 66746.
As more more remote and online resources become available, we will continue to update this post.
Stay well and connected!
Ann C. Benson, MSW
Helpline Specialist/Parent Coach