Detroit Lakes' AA groups 'holding meetings but not hands'


Though some Alcoholics Anonymous, Alateen, Adult Children of Alcoholics and other AA-affiliated groups across the state have chosen to (or been asked to) suspend meetings or hold them remotely to address COVID-19 concerns, the Detroit Lakes Alano Club is keeping its doors open at the present time.

"We're holding meetings but not hands," said local AA member Ray B (the organization asks its members not to use last names when speaking with the media, in order to maintain its policy of anonymity).

Ray added that local groups are trying to adhere to state-mandated guidelines for social distancing while still providing support to their members — a Wednesday noon weekly AA meeting known as Grapevine was happening as he spoke, and Adult Children of Alcoholics local group leader Paula J said that they were continuing to meet at the Alano Club at 7 p.m. Wednesdays.

"We are a small group," she said, and therefore do not fall under the state-mandated guidelines for canceling all group meetings of 10 people or more.

One weekly gathering, the Al-Anon group that meets at 5 p.m. Mondays at First Lutheran Church, is on hiatus for two weeks, after which the situation will be reevaluated via group text, according to a member who chose to remain anonymous. Anyone who would like to obtain up-to-date information about their specific group should call the Alano Club at 218-844-9970, or get in touch with their group leader.


Ray B also said that District 3 of Minnesota Al-Anon North — which includes Detroit Lakes — has established a help line for anyone in need of answers regarding where they can access local support services, whether that comes in the form of an in-person meeting or one that can be accessed remotely.

"The District 3 AA help line is 1-877-833-2327," he said. "If you or someone you know has a drinking problem and needs help, you can call that number."

Get help

If you or someone you know needs help battling addiction during the virus outbreak:

  • District 3 of Minnesota Al-Anon North help line is 877-833-2327.
  • For up-to-date information about local group meetings, call the Alano Club at 218-844-9970, or get in touch with the group leader.
  • Visit the Minnesota North AA regional website at .

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A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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