Support Groups and Meetings

According to NIDA - the National Institute on Drug Abuse - the rates of relapse for drug addiction stand at anywhere between 40 and 60 percent. This goes to show the importance of support groups and meetings.

As part of aftercare services, these groups and meetings can reduce your risk of relapse, as well as lessen the duration and severity of a relapse should it happen. It is for this reason that you should consider them in your aftercare planning.

What Does The Treatment Program/Process Address?

Addiction support groups and meetings can help you both when you are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation as well as when you are making the transition back to your normal daily life after treatment.

These groups will help you achieve long term recovery by offering you the guidance and support that you need to maintain your sobriety. Further, they might prove instrumental in reducing or completely eliminating your risk of relapse.

At one of these groups, you will get together with other recovering addicts for various purposes. You will, for instance, discuss your experiences, personal source of hope, and coping strategies.

Today, the USDHHS - the United States Department of Health and Human Services - promotes these groups because they are essential to the recovery process. The department uses clinical research to report that participating actively in support groups and meetings can improve your chances of achieving full sobriety as well as staying clean in the long term.

The goal of these groups is to help you receive the assistance and information that you need to maintain your emotional wellness and physical health. Additionally, they will give you an opportunity to share your personal experiences - as well as learn from the experiences of other recovering addicts. They can also allow you to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Having a group of people who will hold you accountable for your ongoing recovery
  • Knowing that you are not alone in your struggle against drugs and alcohol
  • Learning the skills that you need to conquer your drug cravings
  • Meet new people who are striving for sobriety in their lives
  • Receiving support especially during the difficult emotional times when your risk of relapse is high

How Long Does It Take?

The duration of support groups and meetings will largely depend on your goals for recovery as well as the type of group that you choose. However, the longer you spend attending these meetings, the easier it might be for you to achieve full sobriety in the long term.

According to research studies conducted on peer support groups in 2016, it was shown that all of these groups improved outcomes in the long run. For instance, the RAP - Recovery Association Project - reported that of the people who spent at least 6 months with one of these groups, 86 percent ended up achieving a state of complete abstinence and sobriety. These people also reported that they were satisfied with the lessons they were learning as well as the support they were receiving from their groups.

How Much Does It Cost On Average?

The cost of support groups and meetings also varies. However, most of them are free of charge. Even so, you may be required to make contributions - but these contributions are voluntary.

You can get in touch with any of the following popular support groups to find out if you will be required to pay anything to participate in their meetings:

a) 12 Step Support Groups

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Cocaine Anonymous
  • Crystal Meth Anonymous
  • Heroin Anonymous
  • Marijuana Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Pills Anonymous

b) Alternatives to 12 Step Support Groups

  • Celebrate Recovery
  • Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others (JACS)
  • Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) or Save Our Selves
  • SMART recovery
  • Women for Sobriety (WFS)

What Are The Typical Day To Day Routines During Treatment?

Your typical daily routine in support groups and meetings will largely vary depending on the type of group you choose, as well as their usual meeting setup. However, most of these groups will start with members introducing themselves as well as identifying as addicts or recovering addicts.

Members will then get an opportunity to talk about their experiences with drugs and alcohol. After that, they can share the experiences they went through since the last group meeting. During these discussions, the rest of the members will encourage and support the talking member so that they do not start abusing drugs.

The idea behind these groups is that they can help you feel stronger and encouraged in the knowledge that you are with other people who are going through similar experiences. This could help you continue overcoming your attraction to addictive substances. You may also enjoy the following additional benefits:

  • No one will judge you
  • The group could potentially control your drug use
  • You learn about the recovery techniques that other people are using
  • You learn that recovery is possible
  • You will be reminded of all the consequences of continued substance use
  • You will gain a new source of guidance, safety, strength, and hope
  • You will have a safe place and environment to go to

How Successful Is It?

Since most support groups and meetings are anonymous, it might be difficult to learn about their rates of success. Further, you may choose to participate in two or more support groups as well as incorporate other recovery services into your sobriety plan. To this end, you may not always be able to find out just how successful they are.

However, most of the people who are in a support group and who attend these meetings claim that they are a source of strength and hope, and that they are one of the reasons why they have maintained their sobriety.

Who Should Get This Type Of Treatment?

Finally, you should know that support groups and meetings can benefit anyone who has ever struggled with a drug or alcohol problem. However, they may prove to be more useful if you have already been through a formal addiction treatment and rehabilitation process, and just take these meetings as an additional source of support to ensure that you do not relapse after your treatment.

CITATIONS

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.469.6744&rep=rep1&type=pdf

http://www.smartrecovery.org

http://www.sossobriety.org

https://academic.oup.com/her/article/16/6/693/571642

https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/locator/link-focSelfGP#.XO45DY9RVmU

https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/MHSI-12-2017-0055

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2011/250142/

https://www.na.org

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012643/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5047716/

https://www.rational.org

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