Support systems help us through difficult parts of life.
Childhood – You had family and friends. Keeping you safe.
School – You had teachers, friends, and volunteers. Guiding you toward a good education & life goals.
Work – You have colleagues, bosses, and a routine. Keeping you focused on tasks & doing good work.
What about addiction recovery?
Support Makes Recovery Last
Can you recover from addictions all on your own? Yes. But research shows that having a positive, encouraging support system makes recovery much easier. It can truly make the difference between a relapse 2 months post-rehab, and years of healthy sobriety.
You’re rebuilding a life damaged by addiction at every level. Most, if not every aspect of your life will need some sort of adjustment.
It’s not easy…especially alone. That’s why it pays to put together a support system.
What Does a Support System Give the Recovering Addict?
When you seek treatment for your addictions, you’ll find that the treatment center assigns you a counselor. It’s the counselor’s job to help you develop goals and learn recovery-related skills. This includes ways to develop a support system of peers once you’re back home.
Who would fit as a ‘peer’ in this case? You can ask friends, but make sure to ask the friends who’ve built good lives for themselves.
We also recommend going to support meetings and seeing who “has good recovery.” People who’ve made recovery stick. Network with them. We’ve seen this work over and over.
How to Grow Your Own Support System Following Treatment
After your counselor guides you on how to develop a support system, start looking right away. You can find peers at 12-step and other recovery meetings, at aftercare, and by attending social events sponsored by recovery groups. You’re looking for others in recovery who demonstrated the ability to rebuild their lives & stay sober.
Over time, through attending these gatherings, you’ll naturally build up a system of support.
It’s also important to reach out and communicate with your family members. All of this “recovery stuff” is probably new to them, too. They may feel hurt that you’re going to recovery-based meetings or not relying on them as much. Talk with them about their expectations – and yours as well. Give them a few ideas about what would make you feel supported. Ask what they would like from you in turn.
We help everyone going through recovery to find the best support available. It’s part of our aftercare programs…but we cannot overstate the value it provides.
Support Systems Make a Big Difference
If you’re recovering from addiction, or considering a treatment program, we hope this article will help you build a support system.
If you have a friend or loved one who’s recovering from addiction and asks for support, we hope this list also encourages you to help. It doesn’t take much…just being there for your friend/loved one can help immensely.