Recovery Community Support is one of the most essential components to Addiction Treatment. In fact, many of the modalities available for addiction treatment are those that involve a community. For instance, the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are based upon the gathering of like-individuals struggling with the same burden – their commitment to staying sober. LifeRing Secular Recovery is another example of a community of individuals supporting one another in the same life goal.
Reasons to Include Community in Recovery
Experts agree that a recovering addict who isolates or attempts to stay sober alone will have a harder time than when he or she is involved in a recovery community. The following lists the ways a recovery addict might benefit from a recovery-oriented community.
Hope – One primary reason community can be beneficial in recovery is the level of hope one experiences once they realize that they are not alone in the alcohol or drug recovery process, there’s hope. When a person feels hope, he or she feels more empowered to take the steps needed to stay sober, even if those steps are challenging.
Support – A person continues to get support with each group meeting they attend. At each meeting, there are many men and women who have gotten sober and having maintained their sobriety. Also, being with others who are in recovery can provide a person with a listening ear, honest feedback, and therapeutic experiences.
Sense of Belonging – Belonging to a group can heal that sense of separation from others and from yourself. In other words, relating to the stories of others can be incredibly healing for learning about yourself. Feeling welcomed and accepted for who you are, including your thoughts, feelings, passions, and beliefs.
Therapeutic Experiences – Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of being in a community with others who are also maintaining their sobriety is the therapeutic experiences that naturally take place. In fact, it can often feel like group therapy. Recovering addicts can support one another by sharing personal stories. Recovering addicts can provide a level of support that non-recovering addicts cannot. Furthermore, many recovery addicts don’t ever lose that tenderness and vulnerability to relapse that one feels most intensely at the start of recovery.
Having a community that is embracing and accepting can be the pivotal piece to one’s recovery.
In addition to the 12-step method there are programs like Moderation Management, LifeRing Secular Recovery, Rational Recovery, and SMART Recovery that may be options for community, depending up one’s needs and desires. Although AA and the 12-step method is the most common, there are many choices for someone who wants to achieve sobriety and find a community of support. Because various recovery communities have different focuses, it’s important for a recovering addict to assess what he or she would like in a recovery community. For instance, some might have a spiritual focus (such as AA) and some may not (such as LifeRing Secular Recovery). Some focus on abstinence and some have a harm-reduction approach. Spirituality, a firm structure, and abstinence are important factors to consider when one searches for a recovery community.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction, contact a drug counselor or mental health provider for assistance with finding a recovery community support group.