Most people find that dealing with any type of substance use issue is easier with support from others who have had similar experiences. For many people, support groups play an important role in recovery. There are a variety of groups to choose from, including online or in person. Finding one where you feel a sense of belonging and support can provide a starting point and an enduring base for your journey.
The most widespread support groups in the world are 12 Step groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These groups focus on the 12 Step model, a sequential program for exploring the approaches to life that contribute to substance use and the impact substance use has on lives. These 12 Step programs are known for their focus on spirituality and weekly meetings, which are offered in a variety of formats. Some feature guest speakers or study groups exploring 12 Step written material, and others hold open meetings where participants share freely.
Although 12 Step groups are the most well known, it doesn’t mean they are right for everyone. Several other support groups offer their own unique approaches to recovery. Some focus on self-empowerment, others focus on certain segments of the population like women, and there are some that incorporate religion and scripture into their curriculum for healing. Here are a few examples:
SMART Recovery is a support organization that offers free meetings open to anyone “seeking science-based, self-empowered addiction recovery.” SMART Recovery’s approach to behavioral change is built around the organization’s 4-Point Program®: (1) Building and maintaining the motivation to change; (2) Coping with urges to use; (3) Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; (4) Living a balanced, positive, and healthy life. SMART Recovery meetings focus on developing cognitive skills and learning to use research-tested recovery tools.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS), also known as Save Our Selves, takes a self-empowering, secular approach to addiction recovery.
Women for Sobriety (WFS) focuses on the issues faced by women in recovery, with 13 “acceptance statements” that help women gain strength by letting go of negative thoughts and accepting past mistakes.
Celebrate Recovery offers Christianity-based support groups with meetings that incorporate scripture and its own literature into a curriculum that addresses addiction, depression, and low self-esteem.
Note: The programs included here are for the sake of example only. Using these examples is not an endorsement of the programs. Crossover Health cannot attest to the quality of services you will receive through these organizations.