Breaking the bonds of addiction is not an easy task. For many individuals struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, completing a medical detox and rehab treatment program is not enough to help them abstain and continue their sobriety. Recovery support groups can provide the encouragement needed to stay on the right track.

A Place for Trust and Acceptance

As a general rule, support groups meet on a regular basis: once a week, bi-weekly and some more frequently. The setting is usually informal with an atmosphere that creates a sense of security and trust. Participants should be able to share their thoughts, struggles and feelings without feeling threatened or judged. For many recovering addicts and alcoholics, acceptance and not rejection, is crucial to their success.

Sharing a Common Bond

A support group makes it possible for interaction between individuals that share a common bond: recovery. Listening to other people share their stories, good and bad, can be very therapeutic and help someone who is struggling with relapse get back on track and stay sober.
A Sense of Family
In many cases, the support group becomes “the family” for the person in recovery. It is not unusual to hear during a meeting that a person’s family has cut off ties with them because of their substance abuse/addiction. Meeting with others in recovery allows them to rebuild relationships and connections.

Confidentiality is a Must

Support groups should follow some basic principles and guidelines such as maintaining absolute confidentiality of the members. 12 Step groups such as A.A. and N.A. pride themselves on the idea “what happens in the meeting, stays in the meeting.”

Followed By Respect

Another key attribute of a good support group is respect for the members. It is non-productive if members interrupt and criticize another member, especially when they are speaking. Tolerance, respect and acceptance are imperative for a new member to not only want to share, but also want to return.

Accountability and Direction

A well-organized, well-established support group can have an impact for accountability on its members. When the members are genuinely invested in the successful sobriety of other members, it is likely that a positive outcome will result. Leaders and members who show care and concern for others will in turn have members who want to be successful.

Support – Not Treatment

Finally, it is important to understand that support groups are not treatment programs or detox. By nature, a support group is just that “support”. It might be necessary for you to enter a detox facility to “get clean” as a first step to your new sober life. Once you no longer have the chemical toxins from drug and alcohol use in your body, you will be ready to begin fresh and focus on your recovery.

Author's Bio: 

Lara Schuster writes for Gallus Medical Detox Centers. Gallus Detox provides safe drug and alcohol detox with customized IV therapy to comfortably alleviate withdrawal symptoms and patients are monitored 24/7 by ICU level nurses. This proven detox method was developed by Dr. Patrick Gallus after 15-plus years as an emergency room physician caring for alcohol and drug addicted patients. Gallus Medical Detox Centers features upscale private rooms, HDTV, Wi-Fi and personal massage. Patient confidentiality is always protected.