In a drug and alcohol inpatient treatment center, you are surrounded by a community. With your fellow peers in treatment, you make connections every day and learn the importance of community support during recovery. These bonds you make are crucial to your sobriety. However, post-treatment, community support is just as important.
The Importance of Community Support
As humans, we thrive with human connection; this is no different in recovery. Isolation and loneliness are often at the core of our addiction, and getting to the other side of that is crucial in recovery.
Community support in recovery gives you the opportunity to open up, share your feelings, and ask for help. Recovery is not a journey that you have to walk alone. With a community, you can have a safe, trusted group of people who have walked the path before you and can help you face your newfound feelings and challenges and encourage your rediscovery of self. With a community, you never have to be alone again.
The Benefits of Community Support
There are various benefits of community support in recovery, including:
- Community support in recovery helps with stress management: Social support can improve your ability to manage stress and utilize coping strategies. Whether you are facing the day-to-day stressors of life or are coping with the death of a loved one, a community support group can help you process these things.
- Community support groups offer hope: Some days in recovery may be more challenging than others, but a community support group can offer hope when you feel depressed and beaten down.
- Community support can give you strength during difficult times: Recovery can feel like an uphill battle at times. Having a group of peers to support you can help you maintain your sobriety and get over the “humps” of recovery.
- Community support reduces the risk of relapse: Isolation is a common factor in addiction, and combatting that isolation in recovery is crucial. One study found a significant reduction of relapse in individuals who participated in a peer support community program. The same study also found that a community program focused on self-determination can significantly impact recovery from addiction.
What Are Your Community Support Options?
There are numerous options for those looking for community support post-treatment. From well-known groups like Alcoholics Anonymous to lesser-known groups, such as Secular Organizations for Sobriety, there is a community support group for everyone.
#1. 12-Step Support Groups
12-Step groups are widely known community support options for those in recovery. The most commonly known 12-Step groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). However, there are many different 12-Step programs, including Heroin Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Pills Anonymous, and more.
These programs are based on the Twelve Steps, which originated from AA. Members of these community support groups find a sponsor whose primary purpose is to walk them through the Twelve Steps. Sponsors, and peers alike, are also there to provide support in times of need.
The Twelve Steps are widely based on a belief in a Higher Power. The steps themselves reference God, which may turn some people away from 12-Step programs. However, these programs push the idea that a Higher Power is up to an individual to decide; they define themselves as programs that are not religious but spiritual in nature.
#2. SMART Recovery
SMART Recovery is another widely known community support group that focuses on self-empowerment. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. SMART Recovery is a four-point program that helps people recover from all types of addictive behavior. Its purpose is to support individuals who have chosen to abstain from addictive substances or behaviors by teaching them how to change self-defeating thinking, emotions, and actions.
#3. Celebrate Recovery
Celebrate Recovery is a great community support group for those looking to take a religious approach to their recovery. Celebrate Recovery defines itself as a biblical and balanced program that helps people overcome their hurts, hang-ups, and habits. The group aims to help those struggling with addiction overcome their struggles through the power of Jesus Christ.
#4. Secular Organizations for Sobriety
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a nonprofit network of autonomous, non-professional local groups dedicated solely to helping individuals achieve and maintain sobriety. SOS is a community support group that does not discuss religion or spirituality. While SOS does not follow the Twelve Steps, they do have basic principles that they encourage their members to live by.
#5. Women for Sobriety
Women for Sobriety (WFS) is the first community support group created solely for women. WFS bases its program on 13 “acceptance statements” that help shape the way recovering women approach life. These statements give women strength by teaching them to let go of negative thoughts and accept past mistakes. WFS acknowledges the need for women to nurture feelings of self-value and self-worth and discard feelings of guilt, shame, and humiliation.
While in treatment, you are surrounded by community support. Post-treatment, it is crucial to maintain that community support. For many people, community support comes from support groups. There are various support groups out there, from 12-Step groups to Women for Sobriety. No matter how community support is achieved, there are numerous benefits. With community support, you can recognize that you do not have to journey through recovery alone. Hawaii Island Recovery is here to support that idea. Our treatment center in Hawaii is dedicated to those struggling with substance use disorder and those struggling in recovery outside of treatment. Our continuing care program helps those in recovery stay sober after residential treatment. Continuing care often includes individualized support groups, family support, life skills education, and more. Hawaii Island Recovery is here to meet your needs. Call us today for more information on how we can support you in your recovery at (866) 390-5070.