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Recovering from addiction during the coronavirus crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stressful time for many, but experts say it has some specific risk factors for people who are in recovery.

MINNEAPOLIS — This is a stressful time for many, but experts say it has some specific risk factors for people who are in recovery.

The escalation once the seriousness of COVID-19 was understood, was fast. For someone who has gone through, or is going through recovery, it can be tough.

Amy Krentzman is an associate professor of social work at the University of Minnesota.

"I'm sure there were feelings of anxiety and uncertainty about what life is going to be like now and how long this is going to last and how it's going to impact someone's life and their prospects for flourishing and their well-being and recovery," Krentzman said.

Krentzman said the field like so many others, pivoted.

"Those meetings, by and large, have been shuttered but have very quickly moved to online and telephone support group meetings," she said.

Some people in recovery might worry about remote support. Her advice? Think about it as an adventure.

"The new technology enables people to try a meeting an English speaking meeting that's initiated from China or an English speaking meeting that's initiated out of Tel Aviv or out of Galway, Ireland," Krentzman said. "This is going to, sort of, in some ways force people to take that leap into online meetings and they might find they really like them," she said.

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Other tips including staying in contact with people from previous support groups. Krentzman also said try to write something down you're grateful for at the end of each day.  She said if you know someone who might need help, reach out to them. 

"Call people you know and care about, text them staying in regular contact with those people you already know and care about would be essential at this time," she said.

The university's school of social work created an list of resources for support for addiction recovery during the COVID-19 crisis, with information about finding an AA group or other group remotely. 

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