The world is facing a challenge like never before, but people are still doing their best to provide addiction recovery assistance. How can you give back to others safely during the pandemic?

First of all, you can’t do anything alone, and you can’t be expected to do it all. Don’t run yourself down offering help. Yes, help is needed. But you’re not expected to be Superman or Superwoman in this situation. Give back what you can, but keep working on your own recovery as well.

Helping With Meetings

During the COVID-19 pandemic, most AA and other 12-step meetings have moved online. There’s no need to make coffee or set up the chairs. However, you may be in a unique position to help in other ways. Are you good at computer security? Can you configure the software you’re using to work more effectively?

If you can help, contact the person who normally runs the meeting. They may need you to do readings or provide other assistance, as well.

Helping Newcomers During COVID-19

Getting clean and sober is often a struggle, but during the pandemic things might be a little harder. Make sure to reach out to them and give them your chat handle, phone number, and other ways they can reach you when there aren’t online meetings.

Normally you might offer a newcomer a ride, and go out for dinner afterward. Social distancing will keep new people from having these sort of normal social interactions. It may be pretty lonely for a new person.

Do what you can to help new people feel connected to the group. Give them information about meeting days and times online. Maybe you can meet up with them virtually – for example, if you both play online games maybe you can join the same server at the same time online.

Practice Self-Care

Helping others and yourself stay sane may feel like work. Don’t do more than you can handle. But remember what it was like to be a newcomer and imagine if you were in the same situation today.

COVID-19 makes everything a little more challenging. But with some innovation, and willingness to help, you can help another person stay sober while you’re still focusing on recovery for yourself as well.


SD-SOAP is here to nurture and network among other recovery professionals.

Come to one of our gatherings to learn more about our networking opportunities. Meetings are usually on the last Wednesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. Browse the website to learn more about us.