Surrounding yourself with other people who share similar experiences can be an important part of the recovery process. No matter what type of substance use disorder you are treating, attending support group meetings can be healing and give you insight into how others handle similar struggles. With so many support group meetings to choose from, it should be easy to find one that fits your individual needs.
Benefits of Support Groups
The benefits of attending support group meetings are many. Meetings can help you:
- Combat feelings of loneliness. If you are recovering from a substance use disorder, you may feel alone. When you attend a support group meeting, you can interact with others who understand the struggles you may be facing and are willing to share what has helped them.
- Get inspired. Knowing others have had success in overcoming a substance use disorder can be inspiring and their stories can help you grow as a person and learn valuable skills to apply to recovery.
- Improve communication. Support groups give you a chance to improve your social skills and communication skills. You can speak in a safe environment with no judgment from others. You may find comfort in sharing your feelings with others who understand what you are experiencing. You will also learn to be a better listener as you hear others’ stories.
- Feel hope. Being around others who support you in your recovery can give you hope and encouragement. You’ll gain confidence that you, too, can sustain a healthy, long-term recovery.
Different Types of Support Group Meetings
You can find support group meetings at recovery centers, college campuses, community centers, churches, and even online. Some groups are smaller and more intimate, while some are larger and more formal. Different types of meetings can not only address your specific type of substance use disorder but can also focus on factors such as:
- Gender or sexual orientation
- Type of substance use disorder
- Religious beliefs
- Mental health disorders
- Dual diagnosis
- Veteran experiences
Some of the most common support groups for substance use disorders include:
- Alcoholic Anonymous (AA). Based on twelve steps and twelve traditions, AA meetings bring people together to share their experiences with alcohol use disorder. They are open to anyone with a drinking problem.
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Similar to AA, NA follows the same twelve steps but focuses on drug addiction.
- Al-Anon. Family or friends of those struggling with alcohol or drug abuse can find support at Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meetings.
- SMART Recovery. You can learn valuable coping skills at SMART Recovery. This group welcomes all types of addictions and is scientifically based. It provides tools to foster change and growth.
Celebrate Recovery. For those looking for a twelve-step program centered around Christ, Celebrate Recovery is an option to consider. This support group is open to anyone suffering from any type of addiction or experiencing pain or anger.
Support Group Meeting Tips
To get the most benefits from a support group, you will want to attend on a regular basis. Many support groups have a specific day and time that they meet each week. You can attend as many meetings as you like. Attending a specific group can help you get to know the other members and develop a level of comfort. Some other tips to consider:
- Don’t be afraid to participate and share you story
- Give it time and know that recovery is a process
- Know that it is okay to look for another group if a specific group is not the right fit for you
- Be open to what others have to say and don’t be critical of others in the group
Mountain Laurel Recovery Center is Here to Help
If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use disorder, contact Mountain Laurel Recovery Center for help. We offer a holistic approach to treatment and incorporate the twelve principles of AA and NA to help promote a lasting recovery. To find out more about what programs and services we have to offer in our Pennsylvania recovery center, contact us online today.