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Power in Numbers: Benefits of Support Groups

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One of the pillars of addiction recovery is having a strong support network. It’s important to have people you can turn to in times of struggle and celebration. This network may include close family members or friends, therapists or counselors, and members of the community who are also in recovery. You may have attended regular support group meetings while completing addiction treatment at an executive rehab facility, but once you head back home, it’s up to you to take the initiative to continue attending.

It can be tempting to brush off these meetings because you have newfound confidence in your recovery. Starting out you may feel like you can overcome anything. But it’s a good idea to make support group meetings a regular part of your new routine even if you don’t feel like you need to go. They may be more helpful than you realize, especially as you progress in your recovery and settle into a healthier lifestyle.

Support Groups Offer True Understanding

Friends and family members may try to be understanding and empathetic, but unless they’ve gone through addiction treatment and recovery themselves, it can still be a foreign concept. At support group meetings, you are surrounded by others who understand firsthand what you are going through. They too have been through similar situations and can speak from experience.

It can also help you to feel more comfortable and open up because you’re not trying to keep up appearances. When talking to someone who doesn’t know what you’re going through, you may be more apt to downplay the situation. At a support group meeting, there is typically less judgment because everyone is learning from their mistakes and starting anew.

Support Groups Can Provide New Strategies

In completing a drug treatment program, you probably learned a variety of strategies and tactics to help you reduce risk of relapse. You were exposed to new ways of thinking and acting. These can be very valuable in your recovery. However, you are bound to run into situations that you didn’t anticipate. Having others to turn to can give you more insight into healthy ways to respond. You can listen to their stories and words of wisdom and equip yourself with a wider variety of tools and resources. It’s always a good idea to re-evaluate your approaches and make adjustments as necessary, especially if something is not working as well as it had been or you feel like you’re slipping into a rut.

Support Groups Allow You to Get Help and Give Help

At first you may feel more comfortable just sitting quietly and listening until you get a feel for the group. But soon you may be ready to speak up and talk about your own experiences and reach out to others. Just as you are learning from people more experienced than yourself, other people are learning from you as well. It can be very rewarding to know that you are making a difference in someone’s life and supporting them in their recovery. This can be motivating in your own journey and give you a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction. You never know when your words or actions will be impacting someone. Even if it’s just one person, it’s still someone that you were able to help.

Support Groups Exist Throughout the Country and World

Even when you’re traveling, you’re probably not far from a support group. The Internet can make searching much easier and allow you to find groups no matter where you go. Many groups meet several times during the week and all different hours, so you can probably find a meeting that fits with your schedule and needs. You will always have people who are there for you and you’ll never have to go through recovery alone. Traveling can be taxing because you’re in a new environment and confronting new situations, so knowing that you can still continue to go to support group meetings can be comforting.

Support Groups Provide Ongoing Support for Free

Whether you’re two weeks into recovery or 20 years into recovery, there is no cutoff for going to meetings. They welcome everyone no matter what stage of recovery you are in. Plus, meetings are free, so you don’t have to worry about how you’ll pay from week to week or whether or not it’s covered by insurance. All you have to do it get yourself there. You can go as often as you would like for as long as you would like. Many people tend to go more frequently during early stages of recovery and then taper off the further along they get. After a few years you may only go a few times a month or around the holidays or certain dates when you know temptation and stress run high. It’s up to you and your individual needs.

Chapters Capistrano encourages clients to attend support group meetings and see what they have to offer. Some meetings are based on the 12-step process while others are not. Meetings can be a helpful way of transitioning back into the community and receiving ongoing support as you adjust. If you or a loved one is ready to overcome addiction and connect with others who are on a similar journey, contact Chapters Capistrano at 949-371-4198.