The Importance of Addiction Support Groups

If we look closely, we could find a support group for nearly every situation under the sun. There are support groups for cancer patients, divorcees, parents, those going through infertility, those that have lost a loved one, and even for those that are in a lot of debt. The thing about support groups that makes them so popular is that they are so helpful. A lot can be accomplished simply by talking about how a situation makes you feel, and by knowing that there are other people feeling the same thing.

Types of Addiction Support Groups

Addiction support groups are some of the most common types that exist, and have been recommended by professionals for years. Alcoholics anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Dual Recovery Anonymous, and Al-Anon are some of the most well-known substance abuse support groups, but there are many, many more. Some of the groups are for those that are suffering with a drug or alcohol addiction, some are for the families of addicts, some are for loved ones that were left behind when an addict fatally overdosed. There are groups that focus on addiction to certain types of drugs, or those living in certain locations, or those with certain professions. There are also groups for many other types of addiction, such as internet, sex, or shopping addictions.

Benefits of Support Groups

The importance of the support of peers in addiction recovery should not be underestimated. When a person struggling with addiction realizes that they are not the only one with a problem and that others are going through similar situations, it makes it easier to take responsibility for the addiction and open up to treatment. While support groups are nonprofessional groups that do not provide formal treatment, they are often recommended by physicians to aid in a patient’s recovery. Support groups often work in connection with the 12 Steps to help their members achieve a life of sobriety. The emotional support that members of a group are able to give each other has been shown to play a large role in recovery and in continued sobriety.

Another way support groups help their members is through the “helping helps the helper” mentality. For those that would give of their time and energy to help others dealing with the same problem, the helper often sees great benefits. By not only receiving support, but by also giving it to others, members will feel more involved and gain even more from the group experience. 

Support groups are certainly not always necessary for addiction treatment, but they are usually beneficial. People that participate in these groups will have a more positive attitude toward their treatment and are better able to achieve and maintain sobriety.

Sources

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/jul/28/embarrassment-turns-to-community-support-for-of/
http://www.aa.org/
http://www.narconon.org/
http://www.kap.samhsa.gov/products/brochures/pdfs/saib_spring08_v5i1.pdf