While there are many proven methods to encourage a life of recovery, one common theme across numerous approaches to addiction recovery is a strong support system. For many individuals struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, this is found in recovery support groups.
Data shows that 90% of addiction clients who continue to attend peer support groups after going through rehab achieve, on average, two years of sobriety without relapse and 10 years until substance abuse freedom. With a condition in which relapse is common – if not expected – that is an incredible statistic!
Why is this the case, and how exactly does a support system motivate a person to stick with recovery?
S2L Recovery’s intensive approach to addiction recovery sets us apart and has proven successful for more than a decade. Our community-based model for aftercare support following rehab has been integral to our alumni’s recovery journeys. Learn more.
People Need People
It is a simple truth, but the reality is that people need people! Individuals who have struggled with an addiction increasingly become more isolated in themselves, as well as in their shame. One of the best medicines for an individual with a substance use disorder, then, is a healthy community.
More often than not, a support group connects people who would not have met otherwise and gives them a regular time and place to interact. And the relationships and network an individual in recovery gains through a support group takes effect almost immediately. Even if he or she does not open up or make friends right away, being in the presence of others with similar battles and hearing their stories is powerful!
A Judgment-Free Zone
Individuals struggling with a current or past addiction can feel intense shame, whether it’s about their cravings, things they’ve done while in active addiction, or the consequences they are currently enduring from the substance use. It can be very difficult to talk about – and even harmful – with family members and friends who don’t fully understand the vicious cycle of addiction.
A support group, on the other hand, is a group of people who have struggled with substance use themselves! Rather than offering advice about do’s and don’ts, a group of peers offers a safe and judgment-free zone for the individual to talk about their struggles. A support group can truly empathize with and understand what a recovering individual is going through and share their own hard-earned wisdom.
At the same time, a support group offers authentic, unadulterated accountability for an individual in recovery. This is especially true of recovery support groups that value integrity and honesty as building blocks for true healing. Plus, one of the primary purposes of the group’s meetings (whether weekly or bimonthly) is to encourage honest check-ins with how each member is doing.
On another note, fellow “addicts” have a keen radar for recognizing the signs of relapse. The beauty of an individual being a member of an attentive, accountable recovery peer group? It is a safe place to 1. admit failings and 2. receive support as they work to get back on-track.
Men come to the S2L Recovery program with different backgrounds of faith, beliefs, and cultural understandings, but we welcome all people without judgment. Learn more about our drug & alcohol recovery program today.