Millions of individuals undergoing treatment for substance abuse across the world have found Alcoholics Anonymous meetings quite helpful. But, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how AA meetings are held. That’s because healthcare experts advocate for social distancing as one of the measures that will help the world beat this pandemic.

Subsequently, traditional physical AA meetings are longer being carried out. Instead, online meetings have taken over. These meetings are enabling recovering addicts to interact with and support each other while maintaining social distance.

How to Support Sobriety during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous programs have always been a resource for individuals that need support from their peers. That’s why they have always been an important aspect of a step-by-step program via which people become clean and maintain sobriety. Once most people have completed treatment at drug rehabilitation centers, they attend Anonymous Alcoholics meetings.

Through weekly physical meetings, individuals get and provide peer support. They are also taught important stress management skills concerning addiction. This goes a long way in supporting their sobriety. But, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed this. It’s the worst thing that can happen to a person that is recovering from drug addiction. That’s because it has led to the closure of all physical meetings, including those of Alcoholics Anonymous to observe social distancing.

But, this doesn’t mean that all is lost. Recovering addicts can still interact and support each other through online AA meetings. You can find more information about AA meetings here, also, you need to know that these meetings are enabling individuals in recovery to maintain constant connections with support groups and peers. This is particularly important at a time when this global pandemic has put them into forced isolation.

Online Meetings Explained

At a time when the world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, connections with the people that matter can easily be lost. This can lead to the rise of negative emotions again. And, individuals can easily fall into the temptations to engage in addictive behaviors. Thus, relapse can easily occur due to stressful and depressive feelings, as well as, isolated environments. As such, support connections should be maintained even during this time of social distancing.

Online AA meetings USA sessions provide a way for recovering addicts to establish strong networks. These networks provide the human connection and peer support that they need while still maintaining a social distance.

Individuals can participate in these sessions from their workplaces and homes using web-based and mobile applications. These meetings enable individuals to maintain their connections with friends and peers even at this time of panic and stress. Thus, they avoid adopting unhealthy mechanisms to cope with their unpleasant situations.

As such, individuals can continue their treatment for drug addiction during COVID-19 by joining these meetings online. By participating in the activities of these online meetings, individuals can get the support they need to remain sober without attending physical sessions.

Online Resources for AA Meetings

Research has shown that clinicians and patients should familiarize themselves with the available resources for addiction treatment to be effective. Alcoholics Anonymous is based on this principle. As such, it has availed several resources that recovering addicts can access online once they join online meetings.

They include different online groups that are categorized depending on whether they are gender-specific, 12-step, or other aspects. What’s more, rehab hotlines are also available and they specify different AA support groups online. This enables individuals to find and use resources that suit their preferences.

What Online Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings Look Like

Different applications and forums are used to hold AA meetings. People that want to attend AA meetings live are given specific dates and times when they should join online meetings. They are also informed about the format of the meeting.

A common format of these meetings is video conferencing. This resembles a traditional AA meeting set up. It’s preferred by most members because it enables participants to see all speakers during the online meeting. This enables them to maintain a personal touch as they maintain social distancing.

Other formats of AA meetings online sessions include:

  • Discussion forums
  • Chat rooms and chat meetings
  • Audio calls or telephone meetings
  • AA group meetings via Zoom and Skype
  • Community groups meetings on social media

Meeting Duration

A common question that most people ask is how long do AA meetings last? Well, the duration of open and closed AA meetings that are held online varies from one group to another. But, AA meetings, audio calls, video calls, and discussion groups can last between 1 and 2 hours. In some cases, the speaker is allotted 30 minutes. This is followed by a session for questions and answers that lasts for 30 minutes.

Every meeting has a unique agenda and details for carrying it out. These details are passed to all members before the time of the meeting. This enables them to prepare accordingly.


There are many benefits of AA meetings. For instance, they enable individuals to get peer support while observing social distancing. Individuals also enjoy the freedom of attending the online meeting at their desired time. Additionally, these meetings keep individuals connected during their recovery despite the COVID-19 pandemic. And, if a person is uncomfortable with video calls, they can opt to remain anonymous during the meeting by attending a chat meeting.

The Bottom Line

Preliminary research indicates that COVID-19 has significantly devastated and impacted the world. People that are recovering from addiction have not been spared. Their source of peer support has been affected by the need to observe a social distance. However, online meetings have enabled these individuals to maintain peer support. They can attend these meetings online from their homes using different applications and in different formats. Thus, they can continue to support each other while maintaining social distance.