Meetings can be a big help for someone struggling to overcome an addiction, or committed to working on their recovery after treatment. However, in our research we’ve found that sometimes people run into obstacles when trying to find and/or get to a meeting.
First, it’s important to find the right meeting.
Finding the Right Meeting
Some people prefer meetings for men only, or for women only. Others like meetings for LGBT individuals, while some are unsure where to start and are looking for beginner meetings.
A quick search for local meetings may turn up a list, but may not separate the meetings into categories. At rehablinks.org, we color-code meetings so users can easily find what they’re looking for.
Proximity is also important.
We learned that sometimes people struggle to find the next meeting the closest to their current location.
The most common usage scenario is for people to search for the next, closest meeting, with 32% of respondents saying they would go to the next meeting that same day.
However, it can be hard to scroll through a list of meetings for the day, when many of them have ended already, and some are on the other side of town.
After finding the right meeting for them, some users may have difficulty with transportation to meetings. We wanted to streamline the process, making it easier for people to get to meetings.
Our site offers the closest meeting at the next available time—instead of listing all the meetings today, some of which may have already ended.
We show a map with the location and an estimate of how long it will take to get there, so users can make a decision about whether to go to that meeting, or look for the next one.
In some areas, coupons for Uber or Lyft may also be available for people who don’t have easy access to other forms of transportation.
Additionally, users can narrow down their location using combinations of neighborhood, suburb, city, township, county metro or town.
The First Meeting is Critical
Another thing we learned was that the first meeting is critical. One of the most important steps in recovery is going to the first meeting, but people struggling with addiction often put it off or make excuses.
Sometimes they may reason that they “don’t really have a problem,” but other times excuses revolve around convenience issues—“The meeting is too far,” “I don’t have a ride,” etc.
However, we found that once an addict admits they have a problem and takes the first step in attending a meeting, they are able to get support in their recovery process.