GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Personal meetings for alcoholics and addicts are now suspended due to coronavirus, but that's not preventing some groups from getting creative.
At the Alano Club in Grand Rapids, the nonprofit organizes some meetings to online formats so that people who need personal interaction can stay sober.
One of these people is Keith Finkler, whose life changed dramatically 21 years ago.
"I tipped my car off the highway and liked a 10-man hood to the trunk of West River Drive," said Finkler. " If an ambulance hadn't been down the street for a minute and a half, I'd basically have bled to death. "
After the crash, a judge ordered Finkler to order him to the Alano Club, a nonprofit that offers various treatment options for addicts.
He has been sober for more than five years, what is the longest since he was a child. Stories like Finkler's are shared at meetings every day.
The Alano Club has over 100 recovery meetings and 1,500 visitors every week, but the corona virus has it all put on hold at least at the end of the month when the building needed to be closed.
It was a struggle for those in need of help.
"I. I'm an alcoholic. If I don't have contact I have no exchange with other addicts and alcoholics. I ask myself: "What disease will I most likely get?" And that is my addiction to the coronavirus, "say te Finkler.
Thinking about isolated things and dealing with fear and aggravating addiction and making someone relapse.
"You have to make contacts, laugh, feel like a normal person … only a healthy person is what it is," said Finkler.
Instead of face-to-face meetings, they have become virtual. People use services like Skype, Zoom and FaceTime to chat with others.
Finkler hopes that their support system will become even stronger when it is all over.
"The happy energy, it'll be better than any high I've ever achieved before," said Finkler.
The club posts information about its meetings on its Facebook page. For those who need immediate help, call the 24-hour hotline at 616-913-9149.