Alcohol and substance use disorder is a serious health issue that takes time to recover from, especially after several years of being an addict. No matter the duration, many people still recover. According to a 2020 study published by the CDC and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 3 out of 4 people who experience addiction eventually recover.
Several treatment steps are implemented to aid the patient’s recovery. Sometimes, these procedures aren’t enough, and the chances of a relapse are high. Surrounding yourself with people with similar experiences can be a critical part of your recovery process. Whether you are treating drug addiction or alcoholism, sharing your journey with people who battled or are battling with a similar condition can be relieving. It can give you insight into how others handle theirs. This is what recovery group meetings do.
This post will explain in detail what these groups are, their benefits, and how you can find free recovery meetings near you.
What Are Recovery Group Meetings?
Recovery group meetings are gatherings of individuals who are working towards recovery from addiction or other behavioral or mental health issues. These meetings provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment for individuals to share their experiences, provide encouragement and support to one another, and learn from others’ experiences.
Many recovery groups use a 12-step program as a framework for their meetings, but there are also non-12-step recovery groups available. Examples of recovery groups include; Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Al-Anon (for friends and family of those struggling with addiction). Note that recovery groups don’t offer any treatment solution. Instead, they focus on providing peer support, creating a platform for members to share their stories, celebrate each other’s successes, and discuss coping strategies that may help.
Group meetings differ and don’t usually address a specific type of addiction. They can focus on; sexual orientation, religious beliefs, dual diagnosis, etc. Some of the most common group recovery support meetings include;
- Alcoholics Anonymous: This group is based on the 12-step treatment program that starts with the patient admitting to struggling with alcohol use disorder. AA meetings allow people to share their stories of addiction and suggestions on the best possible way to live without relapsing.
- Narcotics Anonymous: This group is similar to AA. The major difference is what they focus on. While AA focuses on alcohol use disorder, NA concentrates on drug addiction.
- SMART™ Recovery: This group opens its arms to all forms of addicts. SMART™ Recovery teaches you life coping skills and provides the tools to foster change and development.
- Other support groups are: Celebrate Recovery, Al-Anon, Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others (JACS), and Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS). Unlike SOS, JACS and Celebrate Recovery use a religious-based approach to help struggling addicts.
What Are the Benefits of Support Groups in Recovery?
The benefits of support groups in recovery are numerous. Recovery support groups;
Combat loneliness: Sometimes, patients recovering from drug addiction and alcoholism feel alone. This period can be tempting because the patient may relapse. When you attend support groups, you interact with people who share similar struggles and understand what you’re facing. Not only will they share what has helped them overcome addiction, but they will help you overcome yours in the best way they can.
Draw Inspiration: Knowing others who have overcome similar struggles will motivate you and help you grow as an individual. You can learn valuable skills that will help you in your recovery process.
Improve Your Social Skills – Patients recovering from substance abuse are often shy and unable to articulate properly. Recovery group meetings allow you to speak your mind without being judged, thus improving your communication and social skills. It is convenient to talk to those who understand what you are going through. Besides sharing your experience, you’ll be a better listener.
Encouragement: Support groups can give you encouragement that will accelerate your recovery. You’ll gain esteem that you can also live a healthy and prosperous life.
To fully reap the benefits of support group meetings, you must attend regularly. These groups have a specific time when they meet each other. Attending will help you get acquainted with other members. Before joining, note the following:
- Don’t be scared of sharing your experience
- Know that recovery is a process and takes time
- It is okay to look for another group if the current one isn’t right for you
- Don’t be judgmental of others.
How to Find Free Recovery Group Meetings Near You
You can find free recovery group meetings at recovery and rehab centers. Some exist offline or online; some are more intimate than others. It is crucial you find a recovery group that meets your needs and supports you without being judgemental. For this reason, we recommend our relapse prevention program in New Jersey.
CFC offers a holistic approach to helping you recover from addiction. We incorporate the 12 steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups to ensure lasting recovery. If you or a loved one is still struggling with addiction, feel free to contact us at the numbers on our website.