MPR News with Angela Davis

What alcohol and drug use recovery is like during the pandemic

Chairs in a circle at Northeast Recovery Room
Northeast Recovery Room in Minneapolis hosts daily 12-step meetings for substance use disorder recovery. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the meetings have moved online.
Courtesy of Northeast Recovery Room

The pandemic is taking a toll on mental health. Stress, isolation, uncertainty, boredom — all of these can cause depression and anxiety to take hold.

But they can also be triggers for people who experience substance use disorders, or addictions to alcohol or drugs. 

MPR News host Angela Davis talked with two people at the front lines of recovery about how programs have changed to accommodate the pandemic, and hears from listeners who share their own stories of recovery.

If you need immediate mental health help, check out these resources.


  • Joseph Lee is a psychiatrist and the medical director of Hazelden Betty Ford’s program for young people, Youth Continuum.

  • Bill Jaap owns and operates Northeast Recovery Room in Minneapolis, a space that hosts daily 12-step meetings for substance use disorder recovery. The meetings are currently held online. He’s been in recovery since 1984.

Use the audio player above to listen to the program.

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