There comes a time when we all need help. We might be struggling in our professional lives or relationships, so many things can come up that are hard to deal with alone. This is why it’s great to have a self-help network built around you. Self-help networks are a big help in dealing with substance use disorders (SUD). You’ll meet new people, share your experiences, and gain coping skills you can use to stay sober. SUD self-help groups offer some great benefits.
Four Types of Self-help Groups for SUD Recovery
There are many different types of self-help groups that may be helpful to people with substance use disorders. Some of these groups are based on a specific kind of addiction (such as alcohol and drugs). Others center around a particular recovery approach (12 steps or secular). However, they all have the same goal: helping people recover from alcohol or drug addiction by providing emotional support and practical tips for living life free from dependence on drugs or alcohol. Some of the most common groups include:
- Religious recovery groups: Groups such as Celebrate Recovery® offer a Christian spiritual approach to recovery from substance abuse through prayer and meditation practices.
- Therapeutic communities: Participants receive therapy, life skills training, and education about addiction in a group setting.
- SMART Recovery®: SMART Recovery® is a 4-point program that helps participants develop motivation and learn problem-solving skills. They focus on self-empowerment, education, and learning new coping strategies for change.
- 12-step groups: These groups emphasize spirituality, believing that a higher power can help people overcome their addictions. 12-step programs include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
Find a Group that Works for You
The benefits of joining a self-help network can be an excellent addition to your treatment plan. Here are some things to consider when searching for a group that is right for you:
- Find a group that you can relate to. For example, if you’re new in recovery, look for groups that discuss early sobriety or are geared toward newcomers. It’s essential to join a group where you feel supported and not alone in your experiences.
- Find a group that feels comfortable. You want to feel safe and at ease sharing with others in the group. Try several groups until you find one that feels like home.
- Find a supportive and affirming community. Look for groups where others are willing to share their experience without being judgmental or critical. While honesty is essential for growth, so is kindness and compassion toward yourself and others.
- Find goal-oriented peers in recovery. The best groups operate on accountability structures like meeting attendance requirements or having sponsors regularly upon their progress; this helps keep them focused on their goals despite setbacks that otherwise derail their efforts.
Benefits of Joining a Self-Help Network for SUD Recovery
There are many benefits to joining or creating a self-help network for your SUD recovery.
#1. Discover new tools for recovery: It’s always good to have access to new coping mechanisms and relapse prevention strategies, whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced veteran of sobriety. Learn how other people deal with stress, cravings, and triggers. You might take away something that helps you avoid relapse.
#2. The power of supporting others: As simple as this sounds, helping others who suffer from a SUD dramatically helps you feel less alone and more fulfilled. In addition, when you help someone else achieve their goals, your health and wellbeing will benefit! Finally, when you support others, whether they are in recovery or not, you feel good about yourself because you give something good to the world around you.
#3. Goal-oriented guidance: Most leave treatment with a post-treatment plan of recovery goals. Whether it’s as simple as attending therapy, getting a job, or finding a place to live, they’re all goals that can help a person’s recovery. The group can help you focus on those goals and stay motivated. In these self-help networks, many find recovery buddies—to help with accountability.
#4. Connection: The road to recovery can seem lonely. When you want to avoid the temptation of your addiction, it’s good to have a support network there for you. As part of a community, you’ll find the inspiration to push forward and a place where people can talk about their struggles and triumphs together. A self-help network for SUD recovery provides that community.
#5. Confronting challenging lifestyles: If you want to maintain your sobriety, you have to make significant changes, including cutting ties with people who tempt you to use again and avoiding places and activities that remind you of your addiction. Self-help groups offer the chance to discover new sober activities and friendships for yourself.
#6. Self-help networks can help you learn to esteem yourself, forgive yourself, and stop hurting others by seeing yourself as balanced and loving. In addition, joining a SUD recovery self-help network teaches one to develop positive communication skills that can carry over into work and personal relationships moving forward. These skills can help group members maintain good relationships with co-workers, family members, friends, and significant others while they are in recovery.
#7. Seeing the solution: See some examples of what others have done to recover from SUD. When you see how they did it, you’ll have more confidence that you can do the same thing.
Self-help networks really can help you live a sober, happy life. If you’re new to recovery and are unsure whether or not Self-Help Networks will benefit you: we encourage you to try it out. You might be surprised by how much of an impact it has on your daily living. For those currently utilizing Self-Help Networks such as AA or SMART Recovery for their continued sobriety: continue! All of the support networks have added value to the recovery community. Joining a self-help group stands as one of the best ways to support your recovery and maintain a sober, healthy life. Restoration Recovery Center provides access to a self-help network of like-minded individuals who can help keep you working toward sobriety. Contact us today at (888) 290-0925 to learn more about how we can help you. Let us help you start your path to recovery.