Going through substance use disorder treatment is a major, life-saving step that a person makes, changing the course of their future for the better. The journey towards long-lasting recovery can be long with many twists and turns, but ultimately, no one ever regrets getting better. Between the medical providers that prescribe and dispense medication-assisted treatment and the substance use counselors that help patients get through their treatment with emotional and moral support, there’s a lot of work that goes into addiction treatment! One element that many people know about but don’t discuss nearly enough is the impact of support groups and how they can help people through their treatment and recovery, through good and bad.
Support groups should be supplemental to someone’s recovery work while also being an integral part of their trusted network of people that encourage and upkeep the fundamental aspects of sobriety and healing. When it comes to picking a support group, a one-size-fits-all approach is not recommended. Patients with specific needs, such as dual diagnosis, may benefit from joining groups that cover more overlap concerning addiction and their other conditions. Others may prefer to engage in group sessions virtually through online groups that occasionally meet in real life. There are wonderful ways to find groups that meet in-person through clinic resource centers and bulletins that work to keep the recovery community connected. Ultimately, for a support group to fulfill its role in a patient’s life, it has to be a good fit, and they must feel comfortable within their circle.
When people with shared experiences, especially those that are traumatic or difficult, begin to communicate, it can be incredibly cathartic for them. For many people overcoming addiction, they’ve spent many years of their lives feeling ashamed and misunderstood due to their illness. While in recovery and actively working to rebuild their lives and maintain good health, they can experience discussing addiction in a positive setting with people who can relate to them and support them. Not only is this exercise encouraging for everyone involved, but it can also promote very valuable trauma healing.
Another benefit of support groups is the social aspect, even outside of addiction discussion. For many people in recovery, especially those who are just entering the early phases, socializing can feel intimidating, and having no friends can be equally dreadful and isolating. These groups provide a setting to meet “safe” people with shared recovery goals in common, making every meeting an opportunity to make a new friend and re-enter life without drugs shrouding social interactions. Making sober friends is one of the more challenging parts of life post-addiction, which is why support groups are so beneficial to overall wellness in recovery.
Middlesex Recovery is dedicated to helping patients work their way through treatment into life-long recovery by providing effective addiction treatment at our office-based facilities. Our compassionate and knowledgeable staff is also ready to provide patients with resources for various support groups available in the recovery community to help them through their life-changing journey. Contact us today about enrolment or check out our handy guide.