6 Benefits Of Social Support During Addiction Recovery

Discover the ways that social support groups can help you or your loved one with substance abuse recovery.

6 Benefits Of Social Support During Addiction Recovery

Numerous studies have demonstrated the many benefits associated with social support during addiction recovery. 

Social support can come in many forms, but it boils down to being able to rely on others for emotional, physical, and mental strength during treatment. 

Social recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery are popular, low-cost, convenient, and effective resources for people around the country. 

These programs are so effective that they’re a common aspect of treatment plans at drug and alcohol rehab centers. 

Types Of Social Support 

Building healthy relationships is an essential aspect of the drug treatment process, as research shows that people with support networks have much higher chances of achieving long-term recovery. 

It’s vital to have people in your life who encourage abstinence from drugs and alcohol. There are a few main sources of this kind of support during treatment. 

12-Step Meetings And Mutual Aid Groups 

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Nar-Anon are well-known 12- step groups and popular approaches to addiction recovery. 

There are also non-12-step programs for people with more secular beliefs, including SMART Recovery and Refuge Recovery. 

These groups can be found in towns big and small nationwide and are often one of the most accessible forms of drug and alcohol treatment available. 

During a mutual aid meeting, people can share stories about how addiction has affected their lives and provide support to others who have had similar experiences. 

Family And Friends 

Although family and friends can sometimes be negative influences when it comes to drug or alcohol use, having loved ones’ support can be extremely helpful on the recovery journey. 

People receiving treatment are often allowed to have family members visit, and the treatment center may provide education about substance abuse and family counseling or therapy.

Group therapy, peer recovery support, and other time spent with people in recovery may also encourage new friendships to form.

Studies show that people with friends who encourage their sobriety have better treatment outcomes than people with friends who participate in substance use themselves. 

Recovery Coaching 

Peer recovery coaches, including sponsors in AA and NA groups, are people who have achieved success in recovery and are ready to help others going through the same process. 

Recovery coaches provide advice, mentorship, education, and encouragement to their mentees during the recovery journey. 

These relationships are beneficial because they are often more personalized and one-on-one than other forms of addiction treatment. 

6 Benefits Of Social Support During Addiction Recovery

Addiction can be a very isolating experience. People may alienate themselves from loved ones or slowly neglect and degrade their relationships over time, which can lead to more substance use when they feel lonely. 

Social support directly counteracts this by helping people rebuild past relationships and create new, healthier ones that promote a substance-free lifestyle. 

When it comes to recovery, even just one supportive person can make a difference, but having a whole network rounds out the different ways social support can help. 

1. Information And Other Resources

There are many people who would like to stop using drugs or alcohol, but they aren’t sure where to start. Recovery support groups like AA are a common first step for people seeking recovery. 

The people in these networks can assist others with everything from finding rehabilitation programs and local resources to offering methods for handling cravings. 

2. Personal Assistance 

Substance abuse is a pervasive problem among people with fewer resources. This may include those who have been incarcerated, people without houses, or people without stable incomes. 

Social support can help people facing these issues by providing them with services as simple as rides to doctor’s appointments, help with a resume, or babysitting services. 

3. Emotional Support 

Emotional and mental support are the most significant benefits of mutual aid groups. Being around people who have similar, shared experiences can be invaluable. 

People may battle addiction stigma and shame from society, but those in social support groups are not likely to participate in or encourage these harmful views. 

Maintaining these relationships after treatment ends has direct, positive effects on people’s ability to stay abstinent from drugs or alcohol. 

4. Improved Coping Skills 

Social support groups provide people new to recovery with role models and mentors they can look up to or rely on for advice. 

Temptations to use drugs and alcohol are challenging to face alone, but having people to turn to can mean the difference between staying abstinent or relapsing. 

People in these groups can share relapse prevention tips and healthy coping skills for managing anxiety and stress. 

5. Direction And Structure 

Many people who want to stop using drugs or alcohol don’t know where to begin. 

Addiction treatment, particularly via 12-step groups, provides a clear, easy-to-follow path to achieving and maintaining sobriety. 

This benefits both people who have been to a rehab center and those who haven’t.

People new to recovery can find direction and purpose, and those who have completed treatment have continued guidance and support. 

6. Social Activities 

People who have experienced long-term drug or alcohol abuse, particularly if it started in adolescence, often find that they don’t know what to do with their newfound free time after becoming sober. 

Social support groups counteract this by offering group outings or activities like movie or game nights, outdoor adventures, book clubs, and more. 

This helps people learn how to have fun alone and with friends in ways that don’t trigger them to abuse substances. 

How To Find Substance Abuse Social Support Resources

There are a few simple ways to search for social support groups, including rehab centers that provide them. 

Community centers and healthcare providers can be good sources for finding recovery support groups. Some groups, like AA, have online directories of weekly meetings around the country. 

You can also contact a local rehab facility to see if it can help. Many addiction treatment centers offer outpatient rehab services and daily support group meetings as well. 

If you have friends or family members in recovery, they may be able to take you to your first meeting and help you begin establishing supportive relationships. 

No matter what form your social support network takes, it is sure to be an invaluable step in your recovery journey. 

Get Help For A Substance Use Disorder 

If you or someone you love are experiencing drug addiction or alcohol abuse, you are not alone. To learn more about addiction treatment and recovery services, reach out to us today. 

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