Feasibility of Virtual Congregational Peer Recovery Groups During COVID-19

Keywords: Congregational peer recovery, COVID-19, Virtual, Alcohol Use Disorder


Complex humanitarian disasters and emergencies like COVID-19 can disrupt needed mental health services such as substance use recovery programs. Physical distancing requirements can further exacerbate existing mental health disorders or initiate additional ones. Individuals benefiting from congregational peer recovery programs can find themselves in a state of extreme stress and be at an increased risk of relapse. Transitioning to virtual platforms can help congregational peer recovery groups maintain a connection with group participants, share spiritual and physical encouragement, and mitigate potential relapse. This case study identifies the concerns and benefits of virtual recovery groups and the potential for hybrid groups moving forward.

Author Biography

Jason Paltzer, Baylor University

Dr. Paltzer is an assistant professor of epidemiology at Baylor University. He currently serves as a board member of Esperanca, a global health and development organization. Dr. Paltzer consults with faith-based health organizations in the areas of community assessment, evaluation, and program planning. He is also an assistant scientist with the University of Wisconsin where he received his PhD in Population Health Sciences in 2014.  Dr. Paltzer received his MPH from the University of Minnesota in 2003.  


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How to Cite
Paltzer, J., & Jonker, J. (2020). Feasibility of Virtual Congregational Peer Recovery Groups During COVID-19. Christian Journal for Global Health, 7(4), 28-32. https://doi.org/10.15566/cjgh.v7i4.431