After Inpatient: Stepping Down into Virtual Support

Typically, after an inpatient stay, we’re able to somewhat resume our normal day to day life with some adjustments. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been left to navigate a ‘new normal’ – a normal without hugs or handshakes, a normal without large gatherings, and a normal that favors virtual connection over in-person connection. Adjusting to this ever-changing situation is without a doubt, very stressful – it can spark feelings of fear, anxiety, and isolation, especially in early recovery. That’s why it’s more important than ever to find and maintain virtual support after completing treatment.

You Are Not Alone
As we move through these trying times, it’s paramount to remember that we’re all in the same boat. Having significant time in recovery doesn’t mean that we’re immune to the disease of addiction and that the fears associated with these unusual circumstances are any less substantial than for someone new in recovery. Many of us have experienced job loss, personal loss, or feelings of wanting to pick up a drink or a drug as we brave the uncertainty of the world each day, but the important thing is that we don’t have to face recovery or the state of the world alone. Our advice? Find plenty of support wherever you can!

Seek Additional Professional Help
Even after completing an inpatient treatment program, it’s likely you will still come to face triggers, stressors, and life events that will test your sobriety; especially in these uncertain times. Stepping down from inpatient to a PHP or IOP program is a great way to transition back to every day life and manage these stressors. You may also choose to continue your care by meeting with a counselor or therapist regularly as they can also support your transition and help you focus on internal issues and positive growth.

Though many therapists and outpatient programs are not conducting in-person sessions due to health safety concerns for patients, many clinical providers and treatment centers such as RCA are offering  telehealth services. The benefit to engaging in telehealth? It’s convenient! With telehealth, your therapist or counselor is able to meet you right where you’re at, and often times they are able to provide patients with more flexible scheduling options.

Join a Virtual Recovery Community
Just because in-person meetings are on hold in many areas doesn’t mean that the meetings have stopped entirely. Each day, there are thousands of 12-step meetings and support groups live online for anyone who wishes to live a clean and sober life to join.

We like to think of the Alumni Association at RCA as one more tool to add to your recovery toolbox, so it has become our priority to offer our alumni, friends and family a plethora of virtual support meetings to choose from. From Women’s meetings to Big Book meetings, to faith based services, our goal is for you to find meetings that meet your needs and access a support network of likeminded individuals. We understand that joining meetings as a newcomer can be an intimidating endeavor post treatment, which is why we have decided to a launch virtual beginner’s meeting every Wednesday at 7pm. Chaired by one of our very own alumni and the use of approved AA literature, we will cover topics such as the disease of addiction and the ‘physical allergy’, the 24 hour plan, sponsorship, and spirituality – this meeting is sure to ease any discomfort for newcomers.

For a list of all other RCA virtual support meetings, check out our calendar of events and be sure to follow us on our Alumni Facebook page. We look forward to seeing you soon!

If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, contact us at 1-800-RECOVERY. Our mission center is awaiting your call.

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