And not being able to physically attend support groups is just the first of many challenges that Van Iderstine and other people in recovery are facing these days.
AUBURN — As he accepted a $15,000 donation to Nick’s Ride 4 Friends Tuesday, Joel Campagnola…
That’s because they’ve lost the structure that helped keep sober. Most of them are alone, cut off from the world — just like while they were using. If that wasn’t dangerous enough, there’s also the depression of being isolated, the fear of the pandemic and its harm to the world, and the sheer helplessness of it all. Overcoming that to pick up the phone for help takes strength, Van Iderstine said.
“You have to understand that you’re not a victim of the world,” he said. “You just have an opportunity to live in it a different way.”
Though Nick’s Ride has embraced Zoom, Campagnola noted that not everyone can access it. Those who used the computers at Seymour Library, for instance, are limited to phone calls. He’s even arranged in-person conversations on separate benches outside the New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center, a block away from the Nick’s Ride clubhouse at 12 South St.
The recovery organization has seen a few other trends since the pandemic began, Campagnola said.
Overdose calls are down, and in March, the recovery organization sent eight people through detox and into treatment, one of its highest numbers ever. When they do respond to overdose calls, Campagnola and his staff have been wearing rubber gloves and masks — they never know what they’re walking into, he said, and often the person they’re helping can’t communicate with them.