03 Mar Finding the Right Support Group
Support groups are a great recovery tool, and one that you’ll probably be using from your first week of rehab. Attending a support group will continue to be a strength for you as you progress on your journey, and many people continue to attend some type of addiction support group for the rest of their life.
Support groups will be provided for you during your time in residential rehab, and you’ll probably continue with a group at the rehab center for a while as part of your aftercare. There are lots of other support groups available in your community that will lend you additional support, complement your aftercare program, and give you some structure during your week.
Types of Support Groups
There are many types of support groups to meet the needs of all different kinds of individuals. Twelve step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and its offshoots are the most common, and the most easy to find, no matter what city you’re in. Twelve step programs are great because they give addicts camaraderie and perspective, as well as a clear set of steps they can take to continue to improve.
If a 12-step program isn’t your thing, or if there’s not one available in your area, there are other options as well. Smart Recovery has a pretty widespread support group network, and online forums and groups can be a great addition to your in-person group.
Finding a Niche
Support groups are often just open-forum groups anyone can join. There’s no fee associated with them for the most part, and admission is completely open. There are some subset support groups, however, that are meant to meet the needs of certain types of people.
If meeting in a group of many people isn’t something you’re comfortable with, there are groups with limited size, like 4 or 5 people, that will cover the 12 steps, or other group topics, in a smaller setting. Other specialized groups might cater to a specific age group or gender. If you feel like you need a specific kind of support, this type of group might work best for you.
Finding the right support group can take a little time for many people. You don’t need to feel tied to a group if the chemistry isn’t working for you, so don’t be afraid to try a few different ones out before deciding.
Even if you find a group you like, but feel like you need a change down the line, that’s okay. Different support groups will offer fresh perspective and added support. You can even attend more than one if that’s what makes you feel better. The bottom line is that you need to find a place where you can share your experiences and thoughts with others, gain new perspective, and feel good about yourself.
Dave Callister graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Dave has over ten years of experience working with individuals with substance abuse issues in multiple capacities. Dave has a passion for helping individuals and families who suffer from the disease of addiction.