Building a Support Network in Recovery During COVID-19

One of the most important aspects of drug or alcohol addiction recovery is building a strong support network. Having people in your life that you can lean on in times of need is more important now than ever. Unfortunately, social distancing has changed the way we can access support. Yet it is still possible and necessary to build a support network in recovery during COVID-19.

What Is a Support Network?

In recovery, your support network is made up of the people who support you and can help you in times of need. You need as many people as possible so that you have plenty of people to lean on at any given time as you learn how to beat addictions. Anyone you like can be in your support network. Typically, people build their network from any of the following:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Your sponsor
  • Sober friends from treatment, support groups, meetings, etc.
  • Clergy members or others from any religious affiliation 
  • Neighbors
  • Co-workers
  • Doctors, nurses, therapists, staff members from treatment, etc.

Preventing Relapse

Your support network is crucial in preventing addiction relapse because it can help you stay motivated in your drug or alcohol addiction recovery, be there for you when you have a craving or trigger and generally support you.  People in your support group will help you fill your days with positive and meaningful activities. The people who love you will make themselves available to support you when you need it. They will help you notice if you are not taking care of yourself by attending meetings, getting enough sleep, eating properly, exercising and more. These are the people with whom you can ask for help at any time and also be accountable.

Changes During COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed every aspect of our lives. Your support network is no exception. With so much less in-person contact, it is easier than ever to feel isolated and not reach out for help. On the other hand, technology has helped to provide more access to support that you may not have been able to take advantage of before. For example, there are support groups and meetings online all over the world, any day or time that you need them. If you are having a tough week, you can attend recovery meetings every single day without even leaving your house. 

Many of those within your support network may have more time to check in with you. You can text, call, email, FaceTime, do a video conference call and more. There are all kinds of apps with online games and activities, many with built-in video chat. You can set up groups with common interests and meet regularly online to help you fill time with friends and fun. Even if you have felt far apart, technology helps to bring the support you need directly into your homes every day. 

Overcoming Anxiety about Social Distancing

Many people have experienced anxiety about social distancing and how different it is to try to connect while far apart. While nothing can replace direct human contact, this pandemic has encouraged people to use technology to spend meaningful time together. While it may be difficult to be vulnerable when you are not in person, using your support network is as easy as opening your device. Most people have found that their anxieties about communicating online have lessened once they have given social distancing communication a try.

Why Do You Need Support?

Particularly now, when many people are spending so much of their time isolated, support networks are needed more than ever. You need friends to encourage you in your recovery and prevent addiction relapse. You need friends to call or text when you have a tough day or a strong craving. You need friends to help you fill your time with productive activities. After this past year, everyone needs a support network, but particularly when you are learning how to beat addictions.

The great news is that changing the way that we interact puts the world in your hands – literally. You can make friends and attend online meetings all over the world. Your support network is no longer limited by geographical proximity. You can connect with friends and family anywhere there is an internet connection. Despite less face-to-face interaction, it is possible to build a global support network that you can maintain even as social distancing subsides.


Building a support network during a time of social distancing can seem difficult. In-person interaction with your support network is ideal but connecting online is easier than ever. You don’t have to put in the effort it takes to get ready and leave your home. You can simply open up your device to attend meetings, support groups and share fun activities with family and friends online. By creating your virtual support network, you can connect with people all over the world, including meetings and groups you would not have had access to before COVID-19, and prevent addiction relapse. DiscoveryMD rehab treatment centers are available in person, and we also offer virtual telehealth. We are prepared to support you in your treatment and help you build a strong network of friends and family to prevent relapse. Contact us today.

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