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COVID restrictions narrow the path for Oregonians desperate to recover from addictions

Restrictions due to COVID-19 have halted gatherings including the face-to-face group meetings that have long been a mainstay of addiction treatment and counseling. (CDC file art)

BEND – For the past seven months, Arin Anderson has stayed sober.

In that time, the 30-year-old single mother from Bend has counted on daily addiction recovery meetings to help overcome her past dependence on methamphetamine and heroin. She looked forward to gathering with others in recovery at the meetings in Bend’s First Presbyterian Church.

But Anderson, like others in recovery across Oregon, is struggling to adjust to life in the COVID-19 pandemic, because the coronavirus has moved recovery meetings to online platforms and telephone calls.

Addiction treatment providers say fewer people are attending those online recovery meetings and their clients are relapsing.

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