COVID-19 poses additional challenges for people on path to recovery

Emily Ness
Updated: April 04, 2020 11:38 PM

The cabin fever associated with COVID-19 has been more difficult for some populations to contend with than others. For those recovering from substance abuse, it has been a challenge to stay sober during a time when public spaces are closed, work is scarce and resources, including groups dedicated to sobriety, are unable to meet.


As a result, the Duluth & Cloquet Sober Squad has been working to continue supporting members virtually.

“When I decided that I was going to become clean, I wanted the serenity and I wanted the good life and I was willing to put in the good work to get it, so that is what Sober Squad means to me,” David Robb, member of Duluth & Cloquet Sober Squad said.

Members of the Sober Squad say the groups’ continued efforts have been invaluable to their ongoing success.

“When I got involved with Sober Squad, that’s probably one of the first times I was actually seeing what it was like to have fun sober and so I loved this stuff. I loved our meetings. We’d go bowling, we’d play laser tag and it was the best time,” Allie McDevitt, member of Duluth & Cloquet Sober Squad said.

Through phone calls, chat rooms, videos and memes, the Sober Squad has continued to provide a recovery network to lean on for support.

“I've had to lean on Sober Squad probably more than I'd like to admit, but that's what they're there for,” Drew Goedken, member said. “It doesn't matter who you are, where you are, how long you are sober, if you're still using, we will be there for you no matter what because we know deep down that it's life or death.”

“It has become the life's blood of my recovery, you know, Sober Squad” Robb added.

Timothy Kufahl, a doctor at St. Luke’s who treats patients for substance abuse agrees that maintaining connection in the midst of social distancing is important.

“Get things on the calendar, you know, even if it’s just a FaceTime with the family or friends. That's a good way to stay connected. You see things on the calendar in the future; that's a boost of confidence,” Kufahl said.

Kufahl also recommends creative writing, puzzles, books and fresh air, and he wants people to know they shouldn't be afraid to reach out

“If you need help, call your doctor. Call me,” Kufahl said.

The Duluth & Cloquet Sober Squad’s Facebook page can be found here and additional resources for anyone struggling with recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

“We are there to have each other’s backs and we will continue to do so no matter what social distancing does, what COVID-19 does. We’re going to be there for each other to get us through it because it’s what we do,” Goedken said.


Emily Ness

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


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