While many facilities are shutting down and social distancing is encouraged, recovery programs are still providing support in this time of uncertainty.
During the early onset of the coronavirus pandemic, LivingProof Recovery on Shorter Avenue took a week off to figure out how to continue serving people and what kind of policies they’ll instate as the outbreak progresses.
The group, which teaches people about overcoming addiction, took in their last resident for transitional housing Sunday night — to keep from getting overwhelmed and be able to keep the residents separated.
However, Executive Director Claudia Hamilton said that people can still sign up for one-on-one recovery coaching appointments with staff.
“We’re still open and providing services,” Hamilton said.
For those who are quarantining, LivingProof is doing virtual meetings throughout the week, with links and meeting ID numbers posted on their Facebook page.
People can also call to set up a phone call appointment with one of their staff members if needed.
The nonprofit organization has also partnered with other recovery programs across the state for their virtual group meetings on Zoom and also on Google Hangouts.
At the end of every day, the staff thoroughly cleans and sanitizes the entire building as a precaution.
“We’re using social distancing, but also keeping as emotionally close to our peers as we can,” Hamilton said.
Highland Rivers Health manages nine clinics throughout the Northwest Georgia region and continues to treat people at their outpatient clinics.
But like any responsible service provider they’re taking preventative measures to ensure the health and safety of their staff and patients.
“The fact is, if you are living with mental health challenges or a substance use disorder, the stress of the current situation could exacerbate these conditions, so we simply will not abandon people who need us during this extraordinary time,” CEO Melanie Dallas said.
Dallas and other administrative staff have assembled a COVID-19 response team to maintain normal operations at the clinics.
“We work with populations that are very vulnerable and we know that this is a very difficult time for people,” Community Relations Director Michael Mullet said.
When a patient comes in, they must sign in and answer screening questions to determine if they have been exposed to the virus.
Once they finish, the patient will wait outside or in their car until they receive a text message alerting them that their provider is ready to see them.
For those who are dropped off for appointments and must remain in the waiting room, the staff advises them to stay six feet away from other people in the room.
On a statewide level, Georgia Council on Substance Abuse has started virtual all-recovery meetings scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. All meetings are hosted on Zoom with the meeting ID 695 949 293.