The Importance of Support Groups for Addiction

The Importance of Support Groups for Addiction

When you find yourself deep in addiction, it’s important to not be alone–this is why support groups can play such a big role in recovery. Studies have shown that people who are involved in groups during recovery are more likely to remain sober. For example, 7-25% of people who go to support groups often achieve sobriety within a year, and 85% feel a marked difference in personal value. In this blog, we will look at why support groups are so important for addiction recovery and how you might use them in your everyday life. 

If you or a loved one could benefit from 12 Steps to Recovery, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn about our comfortable residential setting.

The Role of Support Groups in Addiction Treatment

Once you join therapy and take the medications you might need, the next step is to find people you can rely on in a group capacity. There are lots of different types of addiction support groups, like 12-step programs or AA, which are both run by professionals. These groups have been proven time and time again to help people with an addiction, but they don’t work for everyone. This is why there are other groups that people with a substance use disorder can take advantage of, some that don’t even have to talk about addiction, like reading clubs, gaming, or other sober events. Getting out of the house and around people is important for mental health. 

In the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, there was a study that showed 61% of people in early recovery feel isolated from their peers. This is mainly because addiction can erode social connections, making it difficult for a person with an addiction to keep friends or make new ones. Trying to learn how to talk to people again is hard after a traumatic event. Support groups where others have been there takes the pressure off. Accountability is also important in addiction. Knowing that you will let others down can be a big motivator to stay sober. Plus, there is the added bonus of having something to look forward to. 

Benefits of Participating in Support Groups

Here are some top benefits of using support groups: 

  • Emotional Support: Having people hear your struggles and letting them share with you is a great way to lessen feelings of isolation and feel emotionally supported. 
  • Accountability: Encouragement and motivation to keep going are other great ways to maintain recovery. 
  • Coping Strategies: Learning new coping methods gives us the tools to overcome addiction more effectively, and talking to others who have been there, too, can give you better ideas. 
  • Relapse Prevention: Regular meetings can help people stay sober for longer. 

Challenges and Considerations of Support Groups

There can be challenges when it comes to support groups that people with an addiction need to be aware of. For example, it can be hard to find the right fit. There are specific groups based on your addiction, such as opioids or alcohol, but that doesn’t always mean that you will specifically relate to those people. You will have to explore options and find the kinds of support that work for you, whether that is with AA or groups that are related to your hobbies. 

Another challenge for support groups is finding the courage to open up. Not everyone wants to talk about their issues, but sometimes, just hearing other people’s stories can help us feel less alone and learn more about ourselves. Also, some groups may have individuals you clash with or are too negative for where you are in recovery. It’s okay to take breaks from groups if this is the case.

Can a Support Group Replace Therapy?

Therapy and support groups are different. Although finding people to connect with is crucial for recovery, it cannot help you work on individual recovery with a professional therapist. Therapy is more personal and can help us tackle issues intensively. 

Embracing the Community on Your Journey to Recovery

Support groups are great for helping you reach recovery and stay there. If you are considering finding a place to get group support, a short-term rehab or long-term recovery rehab program might be the best fit for you. Rehab is where peers and professionals can support you in a safe environment away from temptations. It can also be a great way to find support groups in your community for long-term sobriety and support. Contact Myrtle Beach Recovery today to learn more about our programs and how we can support you on your journey to recovery