AA meetings move digitally among coronavirus concerns

The Helen Ross Mcnabb Center says they will continue meetings through telehealth services. / Source: (WVLT)
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Members of the Alcoholics Anonymous group in Knoxville have explained how the coronavirus has affected the meetings they rely on.

"I'm a grateful recovering alcoholic and they have shut down our meetings due to the Covid-19 virus, so we can't meet together. But AA people need to talk and meet with each other and give each other support. That's what the program's about," said Jim Norwood.

Norwood said that due to the meeting closures, he and some other members decided to meet up in parks and such and take a walk. It is a time for them to still be able to connect.

He also explains how important meetings really are and the support that is offered can be lifesaving.

"If we can't get back to seeing each other and supporting each other, there's some people that are going to die from this disease. They're going to start drinking, relapse again," said Norwood.

WVLT heard from the Helen Ross Mcnabb Center on their plans when it comes to coronavirus.

"Our services are in high demand and are still operating. We have transitioned multiple service areas to telehealth to accommodate patient needs and to comply with CDC guidelines. Anyone seeking service, having questions or concerns should call us: 1-800-255-9711. We have seen high attendance rates for existing appointments. We are receiving many new calls because people are experiencing anxiety during this unprecedented time," said Jessica Hill with the Mcnabb Center.

Those in AA say how good it has felt to be able to get out and be able to move.

"To be able to get out today, I could feel that in the last ten days, I could tell that I was changing. Even friends were saying that they could see a change in my voice talking to them. So when I had this meeting today with my friend it has picked me up so much," said Norwood.

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