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Coronavirus concerns shift addiction support online

Dr. Heidi Ginter, chief medical officer for Recovery Centers of America, which operates a nearly full 120-bed addiction recovery center at 75 Lindall St. in Danvers, is also taking steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while keeping inpatient group support going.

“There is still an epidemic,” she said of the opioid crisis, which has faded from the headlines in recent months.

RCA is still accepting patients at all hours, but it’s screening them for signs of COVID-19. Those with fevers or flu-like symptoms are sent home.

The facility is observing social distancing, and that includes moving large group meetings into larger rooms to spread out participants. Larger groups are being split up into smaller ones.

While support from those outside the facility is important, the center has stopped families from visiting for the time being. The center is arranging family visits using online tools, using iPads and the Skype video chat app. The center has also temporarily stopped its outpatient groups. It is helping those in recovery use their smartphones to reach out to a sponsor or use the technology to find a support group.

“A lot of groups are going online,” Ginter said.

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