April 5, 2013
Those people who enter a drug treatment center are often at the lowest point of their lives. Many years of chronic drug abuse has robbed addicts of the ability to love and care for themselves, and as a result they feel alone and isolated from the world. While many that come to drug treatment greatly benefit from therapy, life and coping skills training and relapse prevention education, addicts cannot fully recover from substance abuse by themselves. In order to truly break free from their addiction, they must look outside of themselves and lean on others who are travelling the same path. That is why the addiction support group is a valuable tool in helping drug addicts feel empowered to work a program of recovery.
Addiction Support Groups Are Essential for Success
During your time in group treatment, you are introduced to mutual sober support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA),Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or other groups such as SMART Recovery. While it may feel uncomfortable at first to share your experiences in addiction and your early recovery with complete strangers, you realize that you and your peers are there for one reason: to help and support each other in their sobriety. As you progress in treatment, you become more comfortable in not only receiving support and encouragement from others–you are also more comfortable in providing support to those who experience moments of doubt and uncertainty.
Once you complete treatment and begin the transition back into your busy work and family life, you realize that the real work in recovery has just begun. The stresses and triggers of your environment can make you feel vulnerable to relapse, and you need the ongoing support of an addiction support group to stay clean and sober. These types of support groups are a staple of aftercare programs, and they are an essential tool in a recovering addict’s “toolbelt”. Without them, you are often left to your own devices in trying to deal with the urges in your environment–and oftentimes you end up making poor choices.
What Do Addiction Recovery Support Groups Provide?
Addiction support groups offer members solid support for issues relating to substance abuse. While we are familiar with those group designed to help the substance abuser, there are mutual addiction support groups like Al-Anon and Nar-Anon that provide support for family members, close friends, or anyone else affected by a loved one’s substance abuse. These groups are run by the members themselves, and research shows that participating in these peer-centered groups increase the chances of long-term recovery for those who attend.
As stated previously, the number one focus of these groups is to help members get and stay sober. Groups such as AA use these meetings as a place to talk about the feelings tied to addiction and recovery, their everyday lives, and how they are doing in their efforts to avoid drugs and alcohol. They follow a specific program or set of rules to help them develop a healthy recovery-based lifestyle. For those who attend support group meeting, they gain the most benefit by learning from example. From learning what and what not to do from those who have been there, the addict can apply those lessons to their own recovery and pass it on to others.
What Are the Other Benefits of Addiction Support Groups?
For those who attend sober support groups, the environment of these groups are always safe and supporting. No matter the group, there is a diverse cross-section of those who are new in recovery and those who have substantial recovery. The people that comprise these support groups also come from all walks of life, age groups and socioeconomic statuses. Despite these difference, the common thread that runs through group members is that drug and alcohol addiction has significantly impacted their lives and they are working through those issues in order to have a healthier and happier future. No matter how long someone has clean and sober, their story and experiences matter and all group members can learn from each other.
Another benefit that addiction support groups have is the fact there are many to choose from, depending on your specific type of addiction. As stated before, people can choose from 12-step based groups such as AA and NA and there are similar groups dedicated to cocaine addiction (Cocaine Anonymous), methamphetamine (Crystal Meth Anonymous) and prescription medications (Pills Anonymous) to name a few. If you are looking for a sober support group that is not 12-step based, groups such as SMART Recovery, LifeRing and Rational Recovery may be work exploring. There are also support groups such as Women For Sobriety (WFS) that feature programming tailored for the unique needs of women who are in recovery.
Finally, addiction support groups provide members in locations where meetings are scarce ways to get the support they need through online message boards in which members can share posts and get feedback on how to handle issues that occur in their recovery. These online support groups also feature interactive chat groups and even phone support groups. While these methods of support are not ideal, they do provide a crucial lifeline for those who may not have the support groups they need in their area or may have physical limitations that prevent them from attending meetings in the first place.
Be Connected, Stay Connected and Stay Clean and Sober
Those who achieve meaningful long-term recovery have many tools at their disposal. One of those essential tools is receiving the help, support and encouragement that a reputable drug treatment facility can offer. As one of the premier drug treatment centers in the state of Florida, Ocean Breeze Recovery Center has been a solid reputation in the treatment field for a unique holistic-based approach that features effective and proven programming. Our experienced staff provides all clients a full continuum of care from medical detox, therapy and life skills training to alternative treatments and aftercare programs that address an individual’s addiction in mind, body and spirit.
Call Ocean Breeze Recovery Center today and take your first steps to freedom.