Addiction and recovery are challenging for anybody which is why support is so important. Support can come from family, friends, coworkers and community which helps an individual rise above difficult circumstances brought on by addiction. Find out why support group meetings are important in addiction recovery and how to harness the power of community.
Support in Recovery
The necessity of long-term support is little doubted in terms of the positive effects it has a person’s self esteem, confidence and ability to withstand the challenging ups and downs of recovery. Fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can be helpful but other support groups are available which are open and free to all who desire community.
Attendance at a support group can be beneficial for many reasons including the following:
- Increased autonomy and self-efficacy which helps people in reaching goals. If an individual belongs to a support group, it is easier to notice others who experience success in recovery.
- Opportunity to face challenges of addiction recovery with help of others, enhancing feeling of not being alone
- Moving from rehab back to community can be a difficult transition. Temptations arise and risk of relapse increases. Attendance at a support group can ease transition.
- A common trigger for relapse is boredom. A person with addiction may devote much of the day to obtaining or using drugs or alcohol. When the person gets sober, there is more free time so attendance at a support group provides something to do.
- Social networks disintegrate following recovery. People may still be using drugs or alcohol which means spending time with those individuals is not an option in order to stay sober. Meeting people with similar goals helps broaden social network of individuals committed to staying clean.
- Some members of support groups are more experienced in recovery. Individuals with more experience have a wealth of knowledge to share with newcomers.
- Physical and emotional support can help a person navigate life’s problems without turning to drugs and alcohol.
Choosing a Group
Finding the appropriate support group can take some effort. Individuals who live in big cities tend to have more options than people in small towns or rural areas. A few of the following ideas can help choose a group:
- 12-step group: Groups have autonomy about how to operate with some focused on specific groups including young people, homosexuals, women or newcomers. It can help to visit a few groups before committing.
- Religious affiliation: Depending on the individual, it may be more helpful to find a secular group rather than one focused on spiritual or religious practices. Smart Recovery is an option for those seeking a secular option.
Choosing the right group can take time but it will be worthwhile to invest time and effort into something which will give back positive energy which can sustain a person for a lifetime.
Whether you are new to recovery or are more experienced, it is never too late to make a personal investment in recovery. Don’t go through recovery alone, there is hope. Contact The Villa to find out how we can support your journey into sobriety.