The Benefits of Support Groups in Addiction Recovery: Finding Connection and Community

Addiction refers to a state of being addicted to a specific substance or activity. It is a mental disorder followed by certain behaviors, like using drugs and other physiological activities. There are many types of addiction. Here at Life Life Services, we focus on substance addictions such as Alcohol addiction, Heroin addiction, Meth, opioids, and other drug substances. 

During addiction recovery, patients will need support from outside sources. This can be from family and friends or, in many cases, many find the majority of their support from their peer-to-peer support groups. This is because they have been there and understand the specific struggles of an addict without judgment since they, too, are recovering addicts. 

What are Support Groups?

 Support groups are a group of people who asks about one’s experience, thoughts, and feelings about a disease or addiction. Support groups are there to be a part of the process of recovery. Quite often, there are support groups found within the drug treatment facilities, but also when the patient goes back into the world. Whether the support group is on the inside of the drug addiction treatment facility or if it is utilized for continued support, it is very much encouraged.  

Being in a support group offers a routine and structure, which most addicts need to stay clean. (1)

These support groups are often members that have beaten addiction and are there to help new members stay on track. This gives the older members purpose as they also need someone to listen from time to time. This is an overall great experience for everyone involved. 

There are a variety of support groups to choose from, but just as with substance use treatment, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The Different Common Support Groups

There are many different types of support groups out there, and finding one that best suits you is key for a long recovery. Some people prefer religious-based support groups, and others prefer other types. Let’s take a look at some of the options below.

12-Step Programs

This is a very popular style of recovery support. It is commonly called Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These support groups are religious-based. These groups offer support every single day. For those just out of rehab, you might be asked to attend a meeting every single day for the first 90 days. (1)  This is very common as it establishes a new routine and surrounds you with new people to talk to and lean on. These friends are good people to have in your life and can fill the void of losing your old friends that may still have addiction problems. 

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART)

A program based around religious beliefs, such as what you find in the 12-step program, isn’t for everyone. That’s okay. There are options. The SMART recovery approach is more about self-reliance and self-empowerment. This program also encourages those who have completed a MET (Medically Assisted Treatment). While this is a different type of program, it is not nearly as common to find as the 12 steps and won’t be an option for some. 

Of course, there are other options out there, but the key is to seek them out and find support groups that you feel best attending.  

What Role Do Support Groups Play in Recovery?

Being an addict isn’t something that is easy to admit. The feelings of shame and guilt are often times overwhelming. However, a support group can offer a welcome that the recovering addict just won’t find anywhere else. While the people in these groups are not professionals, they are people that are struggling with the same thing. These peer-on-peer groups provide support when, many times, the patient feels like there isn’t anywhere else. 

These support groups can meet physically in person. But there are also internet support groups too. In case you live in an area that might have a group that you feel comfortable with. Furthermore, online support groups allow patients to be among peers that are not a part of their own community. (1) Oftentimes, this can feel less embarrassing. But what is important is that you feel comfortable with your group. 

Support Groups Help with Not Feeling Alone

Support groups are great to help you not feel alone. Recovering from an addiction can be very difficult. They help those that have fought the battle and won in recovery find others who can relate. Many times loneliness leads to depression that can spiral out of control rather quickly. It is important that the recovered addict also be aware of their mental health. Being around like-minded people can help with loneliness, despair, frustration, and fear. (2)

When it comes to addiction, there is no clear answer on how to help those in recovery. Every person is different, but you all have gone through various processes to become clean. A support group can help you feel like you are not alone, answer questions, and tell you things you should expect. If this is your first time looking at recovery, a support group is just another tool that you can utilize to ensure that you stay clean and sober for years to come.

Through our rehab program, patients will go through a series of different ways to sober up and get clean. Each patient has their own story and their own journey, and we are not to be the judge of that. We offer kind and compassionate services to our patients. Our goal is to help our clients to understand the different options out there. We can help guide you on what the next steps are once you have graduated from our program.  

Life Line Services

When you have had enough and are ready for a new life in recovery, Life Line Services is here to help. We work with patients throughout the entire process. Our goal on intake is to listen and find out what substances and struggles you are experiencing. We want to develop a customized treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. Our team of professionals is there to help guide you and to answer questions. While entering a treatment facility is a big step in your recovery, it is only the first step. From there, we must decide what treatment plan is best for you and your long-term goals. Contact us today, and let us help you or a family member get on the road to recovery. 

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