How Do Support Groups Help Substance Abuse Addicts

NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) are the two most common and popular support groups for helping people overcome addiction. There are many other support groups that cater to various demographics, too. For example, CA (Cocaine Anonymous) helps people overcome cocaine addiction. 

People can attend support groups during any part of their recovery. They can be used alongside medication-assisted treatments once the person is stable enough to attend the group sessions. They are used during inpatient and outpatient treatment. Even after people are done attending a treatment program, they often still go to addiction support groups. 

If you or someone you know needs to overcome a substance abuse disorder or addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to our ARIA FL team today. We can get you the best treatments and help you to sign up for addiction support groups, too. 

What Are Addiction Support Groups?

Addiction support groups are a vital component to any addiction recovery process. They help people to manage their behavioral, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. 

If you attend these groups, you can expect to have a group leader guiding the sessions. Generally, this is a peer leader, social worker or trained counselor. These leaders help people to gain a better understanding of the recovery process, find empathy and share their stories. You may also hear addiction support groups being called self-help groups, mutual support groups, support groups or addiction recovery groups. 

As noted above, there are a wide variety of support groups available to help people in their recovery. Some of the options available to you and others who are pursuing a life of recovery from an addiction include:

  • 12-step treatment groups (often held once a week in various locations)
  • Clinical setting support groups (usually held in outpatient or inpatient treatment center settings)
  • Mutual support groups (usually held between family and/or friends of the addict such as with Al-Anon)
  • Online addiction support groups (held virtually through many different websites or social media platforms)

Some people who are in recovery will attend all these groups while others may only attend one type of support group. The choice is up to you and your support team. 

Benefits of Attending Support Groups in Addiction Recovery

Generally, everyone who attends support groups in their recovery will receive some benefits. Some of these benefits may include:

  • A better understanding of the recovery process
  • Lower risk of relapsing
  • Feeling understood and cared for
  • Held accountable for their recovery
  • Get a better understanding of what loved ones who have an addiction are going through
  • Feel less alone
  • Form social bonds with others who are in recovery

If you need these kinds of benefits in your recovery, please feel free to reach out to our ARIA FL recovery team. We can help you get started in a treatment program and set you up with support group resources, as well. 

How Do Support Groups Work in Addiction Recovery

These types of support groups help peers to work together during their recovery process. When attending a support group, everyone listens to each other, shares stories and information and talks about what they are doing to keep sober. 

Do You Have to Get a Sponsor

Just about everyone has heard of AA and NA sponsors, but do you have to get a sponsor to attend or continue attending these support groups? While having a sponsor is greatly encouraged, you do not have to get a sponsor to attend support groups. 

Secular Support Group Options

There has been a religious component to AA and other support groups for a long time. In fact, the 12 steps mentioned a Higher Power. While this Higher Power doesn’t have to be God in the religious sense, believing in something greater than yourself can help you to feel and find the bigger picture in this world. 

With this being said, there are several nonreligious (secular) support groups you could attend while in recovery, as well. Some of these options include:

  • SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training – smartrecovery.org)
  • S.O.S. (Secular Organizations for Sobriety)
  • Rational Recovery 
  • WFS (Women for Sobriety – womenforsobriety.org)

These are just some of the many support groups that you can attend while overcoming an addiction. Whether you are still in the treatment program process or you are in aftercare, these support groups can help you to stay committed to your recovery. 

Finding the Best Support Groups 

If you are ready to start looking for support groups in your recovery, there are certain tips and techniques that can help you to find the best support group options. First of all, you are going to want to find a support group that fits within your beliefs. So, if you are religious, the 12-step groups may be the best route for you. However, if you aren’t religious, secular support groups may be a better option.

With this being noted, you should also determine whether online or local support groups are going to work better for you. It may even help to have a list of local addiction support groups you can attend along with a couple of online websites that hold these support groups. That way, if you can’t make it to your local groups, you can always jump online to a meeting.

support groups

Questions to Ask When Looking Into Addiction Support Groups

Above you read some of the best tips for finding great support groups. In addition to those tips, when looking into addiction support groups, there are some questions that you may want to ask, too, such as:

  • Is the group made for those overcoming an addiction to a certain substance such as cocaine, opioids, or alcohol?
  • Will the group only meet for a certain time frame or until a certain goal is met?
  • Where will the group meet?
  • How often and what time will the group meet?
  • Who is the moderator, leader, or facilitator of the group? Do they have experience in recovery? Are they a recovering addict themselves or a loved one of a recovering addict?
  • Is there even a moderator or is the group run by the session attendees?
  • What are the rules on confidentiality in this group?
  • Do you have ground rules for participation within this group?
  • What does a meeting generally consist of?
  • Is the meeting free or are there fees to be a part of this organization?

It may seem a little overwhelming trying to find the best support groups, but you don’t have to worry. You don’t have to commit to one and that is it. You can do trial and error. If you start attending one support group and it doesn’t really work that well for you, you can stop attending and go to another or attend multiple to find the best fit for you. 

Start Attending Treatment and Support Groups to Overcome Your Addiction

As noted above, there are multiple types of support groups to help people overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol. If you are ready to begin your journey into recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to our ARIA FL recovery team today. We can not only help you get into a treatment program, but we can help you find the best addiction support groups for your recovery, as well. Contact us today to get started on your new recovering lifestyle.