If you have been in addiction treatment, or know someone who has, you know that substance use recovery does not happen overnight. It takes time, and often involves the help of many people who became part of your addiction recovery support system. You may work individually with a therapist, attend group sessions, learn healthy eating from a nutritionist, and practice yoga or meditation with a professional. Plus, you’ll have family and friends who are also supporting your sobriety.
Approximately 7.9 million adults suffered from addiction and co-occurring disorders in 2014. That puts a strong emphasis on the need for not only drug and alcohol treatment centers, but also addiction recovery support groups. The challenges of recovery can be lessened a bit by having support from a dedicated group of individuals you can trust. It’s important to find people you can turn to and lean on through good times and bad.
People You Can Trust
A key part of building your addiction recovery support system is finding people you can trust; people who want to see you succeed and will help you do just that. Substance use recovery center staff will certainly become an integral part of your support group because they are the ones helping you learn the strategies to build a healthier, substance-free lifestyle and positive relationships. But you’ll also have family and friends as part of your group. Here are just a few key people you may have on your team:
- Therapists & Counselors: They can help you to work through challenges you face and continue to focus on implementing your recovery plan and goals. You may talk to them every day or a few times a week or month.
- Family & Friends: They can help you to establish a safer environment, reduce temptations, and make better choices. They can be a great source of encouragement and also a listening ear.
- Others in Recovery: They understand first-hand what you’re going through, so don’t be afraid to speak up and turn to them for guidance, insight, or someone to hang out with.
- Spiritual Leaders: whether you’re religious or believe in a higher power, spiritual leaders can help you navigate through difficult situations while continuing to see the positives.
Surrounding yourself with people you can trust also means cutting ties with those who are a negative influence and my trigger a relapse. Peer influence has been cited as both helpful and harmful to recovery depending on what is being emphasized. Steer clear of those who continue to actively use drugs or alcohol or don’t support the changes you’ve made in your life. Be wary of those who make you feel bad about yourself or pressure you to do things you may not feel comfortable doing. Focus on spending your time with people who motivate, encourage, and inspire you instead.
Spell Out Your Needs
Unless someone has been in treatment for co-occurring disorders or addiction at a substance use recovery center themselves, it can be hard for them to know how to best support your recovery. Speak up and let them know what you need or what they can do. Do you need someone to watch your kids while you go to a support group meeting? Are you looking for some positive encouragement? Do you want someone to try a painting class with you or just dance out frustrations to music? Be specific and ask for the help and support you need. You may be surprised to see how people step up when they know how to help.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
There is nothing wrong with asking for help; it is a sign of strength, not weakness. That is why you have an addiction recovery support system in place. Whether you’re struggling with depression, are trying to push through a craving, or are just having a rough day – or maybe an incredible day that you want to celebrate – reach out to your support group. They can help you navigate the situation without drugs or alcohol and stay focused on your goals.
Addiction recovery support groups are a key part of fighting back against substance use disorders and showing others (and yourself) that lasting recovery is possible. You can find individuals to help with your recovery journey at an alcohol treatment center as well as sites like the government’s own resource for recovery support. There are plenty of people out there who want you to succeed and will be there along every step of the way.
Crossroads is a wonderful starting point to help you build a strong foundation for overcoming addiction and co-occurring disorders and creating a support system that works for you. Stop delaying and reach out today to begin your recovery journey and remember who you wanted to be.