KOCHI: It was the regular group meetings that offered solace to their troubled minds and helped them overcome alcohol addiction. However, in the wake of the pandemic, the physical group meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have given way to online gatherings.
AA coordinators in Kerala believe though Google and Zoom meetings lack the warmth and charm of group meetings, where members gather at one place to share their problems with others to relieve stress, there have been more takers for the online meetings. “We even have members who have been attending regular online meetings,” said an AA coordinator. “We are having different sessions and invites are emailed to members or via WhatsApp,” he said, adding, around 25 to 30 persons attend each meeting.
Excise Deputy Commissioner P Ashok Kumar, who is also the district officer of ‘Vimukthi’ de-addiction programme, said the lockdown has affected the group meetings, but it’s good that they have moved online. “It’s always better to have these online meets rather than not having anything at all during these troubled times,” he added.