Amid isolation, technology plays crucial role for substance abuse recovery

Addiction recovery patients are able to use technology to continue their group therapy during a time when large gatherings are banned.
Social distancing and staying at home can be difficult for those recovering from substance abuse, especially when doctors say group therapy is a key component of addiction recovery.
However, many people in recovery have found a way to safely continue their recovery journey through virtual meetings.
Dr. Steve Salvatore runs Victory Recovery Partners. Its treatment centers on Long Island have been temporarily shuttered, but all of its work continues online through virtual meetings and telemedicine.
"We have had a better show rate with telemedicine than we have had sometimes with people getting to the clinic because a lot of people don't realize a major barrier for getting to the office sometimes is transportation. Sometimes they can't afford it, so this eliminates that completely and we haven't skipped a beat. We are treating more people than ever and really delivering the care that they need," says Salvatore.
Arianna Peters, of Farmingville, says he has been sober for a year. She says the fact that her women's support group is just a tap away has been critical to continue her road to recovery.
"This is what helps me feel like I am working on my recovery…if the other girls were here, they'd tell you the same thing, it really is a blessing that we still get to see each other," Peters says.
Aside from treatment, apps like Loosid, which are designed for the recovering community to socialize, have become very popular for recovery patients. All its in-person sober events have become virtual.
"It gives them the ability to connect and engage outside of the 12-step meetings, which are happening on Zoom," says Loosid CEO MJ Gottlieb. "We have over half a million conversations happening within the hotlines and groups, it really starts to kind of get people to understand that they aren't alone."
Medical professionals say the stress of being at home and worrying about personal health during the coronavirus pandemic can contribute to possible relapses. They encourage anyone who is in recovery, or anyone who thinks they should be in recovery, to reach out for support as soon as possible.