The Importance of Peer Support Systems in Addiction Recovery

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When someone enters our residential addiction treatment facility in Riverside, California, we strongly emphasize a ‘social model’ of recovery. Our treatment program is unique, in that we strive to help our patients get ready for life outside of a professional addiction treatment program. Our residential, inpatient alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs immerse the individual in a community of fellow people who have just began their road to recovery. This experience with peers in a supportive, compassionate environment helps our patients learn new skills to cope with emotional and social stress. The reactions to these situations are guided in a social atmosphere and are crucial to help our clients avoid potential relapse triggers that may occur later in their journey towards sobriety.

12 step programs and support groups still play a major role in modern addiction treatment.

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Men’s drug rehab in Riverside, California.

In recovery from substance abuse, 12 step programs like Alcoholic’s Anonymous or Narcotic’s Anonymous help create relationships, most importantly the relationship with a sponsor. This relationship will allow for a continuation of care and community support following a formal drug rehab program. These types of support structures help welcome newcomers and guide them through the early, sometimes turbulent stages of recovery.

Beginning 12-Step participation while in treatment, especially at group meetings held at the treatment program, and 12-Step attendance at the same time that one is enrolled in specialty treatment, are associated with better outcomes.”- NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information)

Consistent participation is the key when it comes to any attempt at alcohol or drug rehabilitation. Addiction is a disease and just like any other disease, addiction can be treated with both psychological and medical treatment methods. While evidence based medical approaches to care have advanced the addiction treatment industry into the 21st century, a strong foundation of interpersonal support is still a critical component in helping people abstain from further substance use. Ongoing, consistent social support is essential to a successful recovery.

Peer support and 12 step groups are most effective in helping people recover from addiction when coupled with behavioral therapy and applicable medical treatments as determined by a medical doctor. Long-term sobriety should be the ultimate goal of any reputable treatment program. While some people’s lives have been saved through the tenants of 12-step programs, it doesn’t always work for everyone, in every situation. A custom, personalized treatment plan should be developed on an individual basis to ensure the best results. Most often, these plans of action will incorporate a variety of treatment methods to address the unique needs of each of our patients.

Peer support is available, outside of traditional 12-step program environments.

In many ways, recovery is a very personal experience that is different for each individual. Upon entering a drug rehabilitation program, you begin to notice your inward reasons for using drugs and alcohol, while finding ways to rebuild your life into the one you want from sobriety. Although much of your recovery is dependent on your personal willingness to change, the benefits of outside social support should not be underestimated.

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Support groups will help you continue your recovery from addiction outside of a treatment center.

Your family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors can be helpful in your recovery, but it is important to sever ties with those who may have had a negative influence on your life. This can often be the most difficult part of recovery for many people. Finding supportive, understanding, compassionate peers and family members to help you through your recovery is important. Many proclaim this as one of the primary benefits of 12 step programs. Surrounding yourself with positive peer influences can greatly help you navigate through early relapse triggers and develop appropriate responses to challenging situations. 12 step programs are a valuable resource that can help you find positive social contacts who understand your situation.

While unhealthy people and situations contributed to and helped enable your substance abuse, positive, healthy relationships can help create a sort of positive peer pressure to help you overcome your addiction. It is very likely in a support group to find others who have been where you are and they may be able to offer advice on your journey to stay clean.

Addiction can be an isolating experience. Know that you are not alone in your recovery. 

Talking about your life, your choices and experiences with like-minded individuals can greatly help you overcome the underlying reasons you developed an addiction in the first place. Cognitive behavioral therapy, relapse prevention and other types of individual and group therapy sessions will allow you to talk through your problem and find solutions in a typical drug rehab setting. It is important to continue this work for a long period after you leave the care of an addiction treatment center. Research has shown a significant decrease in the risk of relapse among people who participate in peer support programs.

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Support groups in recovery from addiction can play a vital role in your successful sobriety.

Holding yourself accountable is another very important aspect of healing that will greatly lend to your sobriety. A support network can also help hold you accountable to your goals in recovery. These connections can be incredibly helpful through the everyday challenges you will face while attempting to maintain your sobriety. It should be very easy for you to be open and honest with your sponsor and other peers from a 12 step program. They will not approach your situations and challenges with judgment, so you can usually trust them. Even in the event of a relapse, your support group won’t give up on you. Relapse does not mean that you have failed at recovery. Addiction and mental health specialists now consider relapse to be a completely normal part of recovery from an addiction.

Finding professional help is a great first step towards a new life. Call us today to discuss your options and begin your journey. We are open 24/7 to take your call:

 

(877) 228-4679

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