Recovery can be a challenging time filled with obstacles and temptations that can quickly derail your progress and lead to relapse. Having a solid support system is absolutely essential for long-term sobriety. Ideally, a support system includes family and friends who encourage your recovery. However, some people do not have a healthy group of loved ones to rely on. This may be due to broken relationships, isolation stemming from shame or guilt, or toxic patterns that require a person to distance themselves from loved ones.

Whatever the reason for the lack of support, trying to get and stay sober alone significantly reduces the chances of lasting recovery. If this is your situation, don’t lose hope; there are steps you can take to build the support you need.  

When you are in recovery, you will need to make lifestyle changes – changes in your environment, mindset, habits, friend groups, hobbies, and more. Going it alone means facing intense cravings, triggers, and life stresses without a counterbalancing force. Even with incredible willpower, these factors make long-term sobriety extremely difficult without support.

People can support your recovery in numerous ways:

  • Provide accountability and motivation to stay on track
  • Offer encouragement during difficult times
  • Offer suggestions for coping strategies for cravings and triggers
  • Help create a sober environment and activities
  • Join you in celebrating sobriety milestones and successes
  • Share guidance and wisdom from their own experience

Finding Support for Your Recovery Journey

If you lack traditional support like family or close friends, you can find support by exploring the following options:

  • Recovery support groups. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provide community support through meetings where you can share experiences with others in recovery. These groups are widely available, free to attend, and can be a lifeline of support. In addition, you can be connected with a sponsor who will be your guide and support throughout the journey of recovery.
  • Online/virtual groups. If you cannot find an in-person support group, there are online communities for connecting with others in recovery. These groups provide all the benefits of in-person peer support through regular virtual meetings and daily check-ins. An example of an online support group is
  • Counseling/therapy. Speaking with an addiction counselor or therapist can provide guidance, accountability, coping techniques, and a supportive relationship during recovery. Look for programs offering free or low-cost options if cost is a barrier.
  • Religious/spiritual organizations. Places of worship, like churches, temples, etc., offer community, support, and faith-based counseling services that can bolster recovery for those seeking spiritual strength. 
  • Recreational clubs. Activities like hiking, sports, crafting, and other hobbies provide outlets for community support among sober peers. Popular options include sober softball leagues, rock climbing meetups, art classes, and community centers.

The Consequences of Lack of Support in Recovery

Having support and someone who can hold you accountable can quite literally mean the difference between sobriety and relapse. Not having support can increase your risk of relapse

The absence of a support network can also undermine self-esteem and self-worth, making it harder to believe in your ability to maintain sobriety. When you are recovering from addiction, you may often face significant emotional and psychological challenges, such as dealing with past traumas or learning to cope with stress without relying on substances. Without support, these challenges can become overwhelming, increasing the temptation to relapse.

Additionally, a lack of support can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation, boredom, and general difficulty adjusting to a sober lifestyle – all triggers for returning to addictive behaviors. Having a strong system is necessary for achieving the lasting recovery you deserve.

Help is Available 

Are you or a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder? You are not alone. Help is available at Mountain Laurel Recovery Center in Westfield, Pennsylvania. We offer a variety of programs and services to put you on the path to a lasting recovery. To learn more, please contact us today!