Human beings are social creatures; we all need a sense of community to attain optimal brain functioning. It’s been proven.
When it comes to addiction recovery, this notion proves even truer. Nonprofit support groups for those abstaining from all types of mind-altering substances are great tools addicts and alcoholics can call upon for changing their unhealthy behaviors – for good.
No matter what substance someone is recovering from, or even what type of behavior someone may be trying to refrain from, peer-led support groups can help immensely.
When someone says they have an “addiction”, what they’re describing is a disease belonging to a wide range of mental illnesses that include reliance on substances and behaviors. The dependence these people develop is both psychological and physical. When an addicted person is unable to attain his or her desired substance, behavior, or action, they become utterly irritable and discontent.
Those who are addicted to something will spend hours trying to attain it and only be satisfied once they receive it. Some types of addictions include:
Despite how distressing and terrifying these addictions can become, there is always hope for one who is suffering from a mental disease like addiction.
Support groups exist for practically every type of mental illness, behavioral issue, addiction, or substance abuse disorder. The kind of support group that is found to be perhaps the most successful is a nonclinical peer-led support group. These groups, mostly, do not have any professional or clinical facilitator but are instead led by a group-nominated peer leader that changes or rotates.
Some peer-led support groups include those that utilize the 12 step approach, such as:
Even though 12 step programs are perhaps the most well-known nonprofit support groups for addicts and alcoholics, not all peer-led support groups use the classic 12-step approach to recovery. There are plenty of other non-12-step support groups that exist as well, and they work wonders for some people.
For example, Smart Recovery (Self-Management And Recovery Training) prides itself on being more “science-based” and modern than other more traditional recovery programs.
Smart Recovery Offers:
No matter the specific support group an addict or alcoholic may choose to attend, all have particular promises and benefits. Sometimes, it may take trying a few different types of meetings for someone to find their perfect fit.
Many addicts and alcoholics enter mental health treatment and addiction treatment with a lowly sense of trust in both themselves and others. Not only this, but the disease of addiction can cause someone to feel incredibly isolated by their guilt, shame, and misunderstanding of their thoughts and actions at the very beginning of their recovery.
When joining a support group, these isolating feelings tend to disappear into the group of peers quickly. Soon enough, the addict or alcoholic finds solace in knowing they are not alone in their mistakes or struggles.
Support groups led not by clinical professionals, but by others who are simply going through the same experience as another patient, can be one of the most excellent and most promising tools that people can use to their advantage. Much of this is because of the trust that support groups can create.
Suffering addicts and alcoholics can come together in a setting where everyone feels equal at a support group, and thus they begin to feel less alone. Feeling alone, isolated, or different are all states of mind that can fuel someone’s addiction further, and keep them from seeking the help they deserve.
Isolation and loneliness are fuel for continued addiction and relapse. Having the support of self-ran groups that are available at almost all hours of the day can aid immensely in someone staying clean and sober.
It takes about two months (on average) until a brand-new behavior becomes completely automatic. Many addiction rehab centers’ programs only last one month, or sometimes less time, depending on how willing someone’s insurance is to pay for their stay. When a treatment center releases a client from their particular program, the outside world can feel overwhelming to this client.
This means that, when an addict or alcoholic enters a rehab center for their addiction, they may still need ample support to continue the process of breaking their habit of drinking or using.
Triggers exist everywhere in life for addicts and alcoholics. If someone doesn’t know how to cope with certain aspects of life without using their substance of choice, they will likely relapse. Free support groups provide around-the-clock support across the United States, allowing for easy access no matter where you are.
Addiction is a disease that changes brain circuitry; therefore, patience with ones’ self and others is crucial.
Peer-led support groups are an integral part of the addiction and alcoholism recovery process. Support groups are rightfully included in many treatment plans for addicts and alcoholics in rehab. For, they can drastically aid someone who is on the verge of relapse even after being discharged from a rehab facility.