COVID-19 concerns cancel addiction meetings, local specialist suggests alternatives


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Local addiction specialists are suggesting alternative help after Coronavirus closings. The CDC is currently suggesting canceling or postponing events of 10 or more. This has affected Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings locally.

Cathy Walker is the director of the Valeo Recovery Center at 330 SW Oakley Ave. in Topeka. Walker said they are still offering services, including detox, during this time. She said they are attempting to give people consistency amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“We want to keep as much normalcy as we can,” Walker said. “It’s a very vulnerable population and they deal with stressors by using drugs and drinking alcohol.”

Despite the cancellations, she said they are still directing people to AA and NA.

“A lot of them have went to virtual type meetings, but you know people in substance abuse are very vulnerable so we’re still encouraging them to do a lot of sponsorship work,” Walker said.

Walker said they are suggesting people stay in close contact with their sponsors. People can work with their sponsor over the phone while still social distancing or in self isolation.

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