With the new requirements to shelter in place for the next few weeks, online recovery support continues to be essential for our friends in recovery.
Another free, online recovery resource is In the Rooms. Established in 2008 by Ken Pomerance and Ron Tannebaum, both in long-term recovery, In the Rooms (ITR) was designed “to give recovering addicts a place to meet and socialize when they’re not in face-to-face meetings.” The ITR mantra is the acronym HITCH: Help, Inform, Touch, Connect, and Heal all those whose lives have been touched by addiction.
The ITR community includes more than 600,000 members, connecting them to 130 0nline meetings each week. “Through live meetings, discussion groups, and all the other tools In the Rooms has to offer, people connect with one another and help each other along their recovery journeys. Our goal was to reach people in the recovery community in every nook and cranny of the world,” according to Ken Pomerance in a October 2017 interview on thefix.com Since the CoVid 19 restrictions began, Ken and Ron report they are gaining more than 3000 new members every day. "If someone is afraid to attend a meeting due to the coronavirus, then they might be more apt to relapse, especially in early recovery," said Ken. All members support, protect, and encourage each other. Members can post blogs, add items to the newsfeed, and send private messages similar to the Facebook format. The platform also includes a place for private journaling.
In the Rooms embraces all paths to recovery, whether they are 12-step programs or focus on mental and behavioral health. ITR can be used independently or in conjunction with face-to-face meetings.
There is a wealth of information on recovery including member blogs, daily encouragement and material on recovery from experts in the field. The In the Rooms treatment locator database can help you find treatment centers near you.
Ron and Ken designed In the Rooms to be helpful to those who travel, live in rural areas, are hospitalized, or find themselves in any situation where accessing a face-to-face recovery community is difficult. In the Rooms protects the confidentiality of its members to provide a safe, private place to be surrounded by an encouraging recovery community. When you create your online profile, you decide how much information to share. The only requirement for registration is a username.
Although many were skeptical that online recovery groups would provide the support of a face-to-face meeting, Ron and Ken have found the opposite to be true. “People are much more vulnerable because they’re in the comfort of their own home, not looking into 30 sets of prying eyes.” Typically, meetings included 80-100 people. Recently Ken reported attending a meeting with more than 500 online participants. In spite of the size and format, the meetings are warm and friendly. Even though only a few can share, other attendees can message each other, connect, and share their own stories.
For more information, go to Intheroom.com or visit their Facebook page @intherooms. Other resources offer support for friends and family members of those struggling with substance use. There are weekly online video meetings for Alanon and Nar-anon as well as information and resources.
Lynn Saylor is the AmeriCorps member working with the United Against Opioid Abuse Initiative alongside the White County United Way. She is a major facilitator of the United Council on Opioids serving White County and a regular contributor to local media.