Alternative Addiction Recovery Meetings
Virtual group meetings provide support during a time when substance use is on the rise
Days are longer and darker, the holiday season is upon us, and the current pandemic continues to require social isolation from friends and family. For many residents in the Roaring Fork Valley, the culmination of these factors are triggering an increase in substance use. An alternative recovery meeting is available each Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m., via Zoom, for anyone seeking support with addiction or substance use issues.
Led by Mind Springs Health peer recovery coach, Maggie Seldeen, the weekly, virtual meeting provides a safe place for anyone who is struggling with substance use issues. The meetings are an alternative to 12-step “anonymous” meetings and are non-denominational.
“This recovery group embraces people of all faiths and backgrounds,” said Seldeen. “Many traditional, 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, ask attendees to surrender themselves to a higher power. For some people who aren’t religious or very spiritual, this can sometimes be a barrier to seeking help. Our Wednesday recovery group is open to all – whether you’re Christian, Jewish, or Atheist, you’re welcome to join us.”
Another differentiator to this alternative recovery meeting is that Seldeen recognizes that not everyone joining the meeting may be abstaining completely from alcohol or drugs.
“Recovery looks very different for everyone, and the path to recovery isn’t necessarily the same for all,” said Seldeen. “Some members of the group may be looking for support while they focus on 100% sobriety from all substances, while others may be exploring ways to simply cut back on their alcohol consumption or marijuana use.”
During these trying times, as area residents are dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, such as job loss and isolation, Seldeen has notices more people seeking help who never thought they had substance use issues in prior times.
“More and more often, I hear comments from people that they’re drinking more, or starting to drink earlier in the day than they have before,” said Seldeen. “For some, turning to prescription drugs or other substances is how they’re attempting to relieve stress or coping with underlying mental health symptoms, like anxiety or depression.”
In a recent tracking poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 12% reported an increase use of alcohol consumption or substance use.
As a recovering addict herself, Seldeen hopes to use her combination of life experiences with her formal education in psychology and sociology to help others who are struggling with addiction. In addition to leading the weekly recovery meeting on Wednesday evenings, Seldeen also provides one-on-one support and guidance, and often works with those in the recovery process in tandem with therapists, psychiatrists, and other professionals.
“I am an optimist,” said Seldeen. “There is hope, and there is help.”
To join the meeting on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m.: Zoom – Meeting ID: 987 8490 6150 Passcode: 11223344
For more information on upcoming, virtual recovery meetings, or one-on-one substance use support, contact Maggie Seldeen at 970.531.5060. If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call the Colorado State Crisis line at 844.493.TALK or text TALK to 38255.
Maggie Seldeen is a Peer Recovery Coach at Mind Springs Health, working in tandem with the State Opioid Response Grant. Maggie can be be regularly heard, along with Kenna Crampton, on the Chemical World, a KDNK public affairs program aiming to de-stigmatize drug addiction and mental health.
Mind Springs Health is the Western Slope’s largest provider of counseling and therapy for mental wellness and assists individuals and families dealing with and recovering from substance abuse and addiction. Covering a 23,000-square mile area in Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Mesa, Moffat, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties, Mind Springs Health offers a continuum of mental health care with crisis response services, 12 offices for outpatient treatment, and West Springs Hospital, the only psychiatric hospital between Denver and Salt Lake City.