In The Rooms: A Holiday Haven

By Luke Walker 12/12/11

The sober social network provides important tools and events to help people in recovery at this time of year.

In The Rooms: online lifeline

The holiday season can be trying for anyone. But for sober folks, the cold, crowded days between Thanksgiving and New Year are the most daunting and difficult of the year. Ron Tannebaum and Ken Pomerance, founders of—a social network for people in recovery, which turned turned three years old in October—appreciate the impact of holiday stress. “We have a lot of tools that help keep our members connected so they don't feel alone, isolated and vulnerable,” Ron Tannebaum tells The Fix.'s 180,000 members have access to online, real-time virtual meetings, discussions, forums, affinity groups, a meeting finder, downloadable recordings of speakers, an IPhone app and more. Some members host themed conferences specially for the holidays, such as "Holiday Hiccups," tomorrow at 10 pm. Another important tool for the festive season is a “Burning Desire Button”—for anyone who's on the edge, help is one click away.

While Pomerance and Tannebaum admit, “You can’t hug a computer," they're adamant that "people struggling with illness need an outlet.” For many people around the world, who can't physically access a group for whatever reason—particularly during the dreaded holidays, with their alcohol rituals and sad memories—ITR is more than just the next best thing. It’s a lifeline.

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