Support groups can help addicts to deal with their issues. Being with a group of people who share the same addiction gives support to the addict and helps them to stay clean and sober.
A support group can be the first step in getting help for an addiction. A person may attend a few meetings to help them decide whether they are in the throes of an addiction or not.
What is a Support Group?
Very simply, a support group is a gathering of people who are living with similar issues. They meet regularly, either in person or online, to share their experiences. Members of the group learn from each other and get practical tips for dealing with their addictions.
Advantages of Support Groups
One advantage of a support group for addicts is that the person understands that they are not alone in their addiction. Addicts come from all backgrounds and income levels, and most of them are very good at hiding their addiction from their families, friends, and employers. The support group is a place where they are accepted and feel safe enough to admit that they need help.
Another advantage of an addiction support group is the educational aspect of attending. Some groups invite guest speakers and experts to come in to address the members about different aspects of addiction. By understanding their condition, the addict can learn how to deal with it effectively.
Support Groups as Part of a Treatment Plan
Having follow-up care after spending time in detox and a treatment facility is an important part of the recovery process. A person who doesn't have support in the community is more likely to have a relapse and go back to their former ways. Interacting with the group helps the addict to keep up with the lifestyle changes they need to make to stay free from addiction.
Support Groups for Family Members of Addicts
Friends and family members of addicts are affected by the addict's actions as well. They may feel hurt, angry, or frustrated - all at the same time! They may also feel helpless and not know exactly where to turn. The family members may wonder what they did or said that may have contributed to their loved one's addiction.
Being able to share their thoughts and feelings with others going through a similar experience within a support group like Nar-Anon, for example, can be helpful. They may not have many other places where they can open up about what is going in their lives, and the fact that everyone in the room understands their situation helps them to feel more comfortable. The family members can develop their own strategies for dealing with someone else's addiction.
How to Find a Support Group
There are several things you can do to find a support group. You can ask your doctor, therapist, or minister if they can recommend one. A treatment facility may be able to point you in the right direction as well. You also have the option of contacting your local community mental health center or looking up "Mental Health Services" in the Yellow Pages to find a group near you.