Addiction or dependence is one of the more complex fields of mental health. Addiction can often be challenging to treat and there is plenty of controversy surrounding the causes of addiction and the best approaches to treatment. But one thing everyone can agree on, from professionals to addicts, is that having people around who understand the problem is extremely important and helps the process significantly.
If you are not sold on support groups and the importance of abstinence read on.
The ‘group effect’
For several decades, support groups have been a core aspect of drug and alcohol addiction recovery and have proven to be quite effective. Group therapy and support groups have the uncanny ability to cheer you up and set and achieve goals towards your road to abstinence and recovery. Even in the worst-case scenario, misery loves company.
In group therapy, you get a spectrum of characters that visit; some of them may share your views on matters or even have identical challenges that they are dealing with. This helps you perceive your issues less negatively and in a new light. It may even help you find a solution as a group or even just find solace that you are not alone in your struggles and that other people are going through the same thing.
Group settings of this nature are a great way to experiment with new behaviors and ways of thinking before you go out into the world. These sessions also do well in silencing any and all misleading and dangerous myths you might face along your journey.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help
The road to recovery is fraught with its own set of problems, setbacks, and extreme withdrawal symptoms. This is the hardest part and you don’t need to feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. You will realize you are not alone and that support groups do a world of good if you let them.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, humans need some sort of connection. They want to feel accepted and know they’re not alone. These support groups, therefore, prove to be the ultimate answer to Maslow if he had an addiction or problem. Support groups provide a safe and trusting environment for an addict to heal and grow.
You may experience plenty of instances in which you want to express how you’re feeling and the journey you are going through, but you find it so hard, especially when you talk to people who don’t understand or have gone through similar experiences. Support groups can be there for you when most other people in your life can’t.
Are these groups even effective?
A lot of people enter support groups highly skeptical of their value or benefits. These safe spaces create a sense of safety for an addict to be able to explore their vulnerabilities and addictions in a constructive and empathetic way. There are definite therapeutic benefits of support groups as they provide a healing experience and is open to anyone at any stage of addiction.
Sometimes you ask your self do I have a drinking problem? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. What matters is that you see if you do and try at least one group therapy session. It might give you a good perspective on a path you think you may be heading down.
I had struggled with substance abuse during my raging teen years and I can personally say these support groups helped me in so many ways to become the person I am today. Vegan and proud.
Learning new things every session
Support groups, in general, provide advice and resources tailor-made to deal with problems that you may face with regard to addiction. Members share their milestones and success stories, while some even share the strategies that helped them through their recovery. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just people sitting in a circle discussing their problems. These groups also teach you coping skills and learning tools, offer recommendations for books, websites, and therapists for your usage through your journey. They’re basically the support system you always wish you had.