Support Groups in SUD: Do They Matter?
Whether in person or online, when you are dealing with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs), finding other people who can support you through challenging times and celebrate your achievements, can be an important and rewarding part of a life in recovery.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “The process of recovery is supported through relationships and social networks. This often involves family members who become the champions of their loved one’s recovery. Families of people in recovery may experience adversities that lead to increased family stress, guilt, shame, anger, fear, anxiety, loss, grief, and isolation. The concept of resilience in recovery is also vital for family members who need access to intentional support that promotes their health and well-being. The support of peers and friends is also crucial in engaging and supporting individuals in recovery.”
At Lionrock, we encourage active participation in support groups and as part of our treatment programs, our counselors introduce clients to a range of 12-step and non-12 step mutual support groups. We host a variety of online support groups, from 12 step meetings to alternative format meetings. We offer meetings specifically for the LGBTQ+ community, adult children of alcoholics, women, men, nurses, people in recovery from narcotics, unhealthy relationships with food and body image, and more.
We have deep respect for the 12-step tradition – many of us at Lionrock work a 12-step program, and we’ve worked to create something different too. Our CommUnity meeting is a new tradition, in which all people pursuing peace in mind and body can find hope and healing through connections with each other. This broad approach encompasses the many paths to recovery, and everyone is welcome. CommUnity meetings are open to people recovering from anything, not just drugs and alcohol, and we make no judgments about what recovery is, because everyone’s recovery is personal.
Why Support Groups Matter
Support Groups in SUD treatment matter because they:
- address feelings of isolation, often common among people with SUDs, and especially since the outbreak of COVID–19
- offer a safe, judgement-free space for expressing feelings and sharing lived experiences
- create an outlet for stress, anxiety, fear, anger and other emotions
- offer a place to learn from people who have had similar experiences and challenges
- often share tools and additional resources to support a life in recovery
- provide accountability and encouragement.
There are 24 million Americans currently in recovery, living their lives without dependence on drugs or alcohol after struggling with addiction. It is estimated that close to five million people attend a recovery support group each year in the United States. Support groups are one of many tools for people seeking relief from SUDs. If you are dealing with SUD, know you are not alone, even if it feels like it. Reach out for help; there are people waiting to support your recovery.