A – Hello and thank you to all parents for staying connected, reaching out to each other, and having zoom meetings!  Right now, “We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”- William James

***Also please consider being a parent to share your story – your journey to and with PSG – supports and anything about your experience you would like to share with others who will definitely be able to relate!!  Email me if you are courageous (btw you all are!!)  I would love 2-3 people to share it would be so powerful and helpful – consider giving back!!  - (email me if you are considering share!)

B- Who am I – for those who don’t know J - Susan Busfield- Licensed mental health and addiction counselor in NJ for 20 + years. Offering Parent support groups and members support, resources, and feedback.

C- Sharing a different perspective- spending some time online at 12 step online meetings and reading feedback and thoughts the following things emerged that I wanted to share.  Since it is our nature to focus on and worry about our loved ones (often over our own self care). It is possible that our worry right now is 10 fold for our loved ones in recovery – feeling powerless to protect them from struggles of sobriety and recovery during these challenging times. 

·        We realize that recovery thrives with a combo of internal and external support and accountability. Right now, external offerings are challenged due to social distancing.

·        It was suggested that individuals in recovery are BETTER equipped than most right now to manage during these difficult times.

·        They have been living with a disease that is trying to kill them for a long time- and if they have developed and embraced a program of sobriety like 12 steps – it gives them tools to deal with life being unmanageable.

·        Sobriety conditions you to be comfortable or manage with the uncomfortable and to delay gratification.

·        “this is life on life’s terms” “I’ve been through way worse, this is not my bottom, I can handle this” – shared by individual during online meeting-

·        “Recovery is emotional prepping- instead of canned goods and toilet paper, drugs or alcohol – I am storing up – introspection, gratitude, handy slogans and network that I can reach out to.”- shared by individual during online meeting

D- What about the loved ones who are not so resilient or have solid recovery or are still active in using?

·        Treatment is still available- it is different and feels a bit difficult right now – but it is not a good idea to wait!

·        Treatment centers are open – accepting detox patients – IOP running virtually, 12 step groups have been set up online for a long time and now Zoom meetings are available. Some sober houses have openings

·        Mental health/psychiatrist- are conducting telehealth for prescriptions for medications

·        Suboxone is being looked to be prescribed differently to make it more available to individuals currently using it – Methadone treatment has modified but are still offering services.

·        Consider – Now may be the best time to seek treatment! Although there are some new protocols – temperatures being taken, screening process – but if places have openings it might be easier to get in –

·        I anticipate there will be a huge surge of need for treatment resources as things begin to open back up – meaning wait times for resources, beds, etc. – will be a new challenge to overcome.

E- If you have a loved on living in your home – or you  are trying to keep in touch-

·        Talk about feelings – honestly – if arguments happen have a plan to separate space go into other areas of home – and respect some distance to cool off –

·        Have a relapse prevention plan – for you and them – talk about it together – if they don’t think they need it – then let them know it is for your peace of mind and great then it will not likely be used and it won’t be needed – talking about relapse doesn’t make it happen

·        Similar to mental health concerns: asking someone if they are suicidal will not put the thought into their mind – but to not ask might mean missing very important risk factors and talking about it could actually open up the conversation for them to feel better and to get help

·        If you have some one in your home with hx or suspected use of opiates – have Narcan in your house.  Again, better to not need it and have it – emergency responders are overwhelmed right now and in a situation of an overdose concern every minute counts!  It can be purchased over counter at most if not all pharmacies – no questions asked and for many you can purchase it with discount through your insurance card – purchasing it will not be a red flag or held against you.   I have purchased some and have it “God forbid!”  Just keep in mind there is expiration date for them.

·        Living away from someone – do regular non- judgmental check ins –

·        Establish a routine – consider more trigger times of day or week – Call on a Friday night could be really helpful.

·        If you lose touch with person – consider an emergency well check plan – communicate that to the person too – let them know that if they are not in touch after x amount of days (be reasonable! For you and them) then you will not hesitate to call for authorities to do an emergency well check – They will also be more likely to conduct it if you have plan in place and can articulate that.  – They don’t have resources to do that as much as it is likely needed – so consider first – neighbors? Did they post on Facebook anytime in-between? Consider going to their house if that is reasonable – did they pick up their mail?  Remember call authorities when you are sure there is a dire concern –


F-      Practice your own self care!!!!


·        Use the Serenity Prayer

·        Develop your own routines and good habits –

·        Go easy on yourself – realize that you are not operating at your full capacity and abilities right now

·        It is normal to experience increased moods – emotions – intensity – fear – maybe depression and anxiety too!

·        Sleeping and eating habits might be shifting too

·        What can we do? = Take walks, focus on gratitude – journaling, turn off the TV, connect in new and unique ways – try to stick to routines and rituals – even if they are new

·        Continue to reach out and support each other !


Thank You!!


Next Zoom group on Wed May 6 – at 6pm:

                         Then:   Thurs May 14 at 6pm:  Join us!!



5/6/20 Topic: Trauma – Fear – Pandemics and the Brain – Understanding how we react and respond and how it can change our behavior – risks for addiction and mental health-  What we have learned from PTSD and trauma informed care and how that can help us right now. Helping to ease the emotional roller coaster-


See you all then!! – Be Well – Susan





Helpful Online support Resources:





Smart Recovery

Life Ring

Women for Sobriety