Action Plan in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

A Message to our Friends in the Legal Community, Our Associates and Clients that We Serve in the Reno Sparks Community from Advanced DUI & Counseling.

March 16, 2020

Well the news seems to get bleaker and more alarming as the COVID-19 pandemic careens through society and begins to disrupt the lives of every person in our little community. Penny and I are gravely concerned as this situation will place serious stressors on everyone in that is struggling to stay sober in the local recovery community as well as Small Businesses just struggling to survive.

I have been in contact with the Center for Disease Control and the Washoe County Health Department and have implemented all their advised protocols to stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19. We are implementing all of these new policies this week. We are also greatly expanding the use of Telehealth for remote counseling in the area of webinars. The goal is to hold online group sessions that may be attended from home.

Some of these new policies are going to result in some hassle and inconvenient to some people. Please remember these are temporary measures and will not be forever. We must all do everything we can to beat this thing and get back to our real lives.

And speaking of which, I would like to get back to the purpose of this letter.

Addiction is a disease that thrives on solitude, isolation and avoidance of others. The single most important word in the entire Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is the first word of the First Step.


That is because all by myself I get drunk.

But WE can stay sober.

Every alcoholic/addict I know has tried to quit thousands of times with the same result…a return to use.

But then they start a counseling program, begin attending some AA or NA meetings and realize a few weeks later that they are still sober.  The fellowship of recovery, the shared experiences, the guidance of mentors or Sponsors and the non-stop support are essential for most people to get a handle on stopping the progressive destruction of their lives by addiction.

The manner by which we are advised to deal with COVID-19 directly contradicts what we know about fighting addictions. We must stop the march of the illness through our society, that is something we can all readily agree upon. But how do I play my part and keep my sobriety out of harm’s way?

The challenges just get worse…

The Reno Triangle Club is closed until April 6th. The Carson City Club is closed as well as a great number of meeting places in our community. As of this moment, the Sparks Alano Club remains open. A few days ago, the USA Today ran a story about how recovering people are adapting to the COVID-19 situation.

If I may offer some possible ideas:

  1. We may have to avoid contact with others physically but that does not mean, we cannot communicate. Use your phone numbers. I have been telling clients to collect phone numbers of sober men and women since the day they enroll. Start calling them. And ask the person you called if they have other numbers. Make a meeting happen on your phone. One alcoholic talking with another. That is what recovery is all about.
  2. Use other technologies such as online meetings. Google “Online AA meetings” and you will find the websites that can connect you to other recovering people. Not just AA meetings are online. Smart Recovery has an online presence. In The Rooms has over 500,000 members and 130 weekly meetings.

The Tempest Sobriety School has a list of 12 Online Recovery Meetings that you should give a look.

The bottom line here is that we can beat this disease. Both COVID-19 and the disease of alcoholism and addiction. But we have to work together and with a common purpose. To Thine Oneself Be True. Shakespeare said that and AA adopted it. It applies so well to life today. I have to be true to myself and my sober life.

Stay safe, sane and sober my friends. Be smart about what you do. Reach out to others in recovery. Share your experiences and hopes with each other. Yeah, I know I am going to really miss the hugs. But we will survive, and I pray that all of you will do the same.

If God brings us to it, he will help us through it.

In sobriety and with all our love,

Mickey, Penny & Kristi

Your friends at Advanced DUI & Counseling


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