Finding Community When Fighting Addiction
As the saying goes, “You are who you surround yourself with”. This is especially true with addiction recovery as science shows that having peer support can make a huge difference in the likelihood of successful addiction recovery. Keep reading to learn why sharing rehab journeys is so beneficial, as well as the best ways to find a supportive, addiction recovery community for yourself.
WHY IS COMMUNITY SO IMPORTANT DURING RECOVERY?
During this low point in our lives, there’s likely been a significant amount of hiding and lying to both our loved ones as well as ourselves. This deception leads to a lack of trust, and relationships with families and friends quickly deteriorate. With fewer people fighting for us to get better, it’s all too easy to fall even deeper into our struggle with drugs.
This domino effect highlights the importance of having a social support network during recovery. During treatment, a supportive addiction recovery community increases treatment retention and increased satisfaction.
After treatment, the presence of a positive and supportive community can decrease the odds of relapsing by boosting mood, increasing motivation and accountability, and also providing a healthy distraction. The evidence further shows that a person’s perception of their ability to recover can be influenced by the behavior they observe in others.
6 WAYS TO FIND COMMUNITY DURING ADDICTION RECOVERY
Finding a sober friend group is easier than ever these days. The benefit of living in a digital age has made it possible to connect with people from all over the world. Specialized chat rooms and forums, video conferencing, and social media have made it possible to find people that are experiencing the same struggles and have the same goals.
Technology has also made it easier to connect with people in person, both within and outside of traditional addiction recovery circles. These tips will help you navigate these spaces and find your recovery community no matter where you are looking.
MEETING PEOPLE IN AA (OR OTHER PEER-BASED SUPPORT GROUPS)
One of the easiest ways to find others who are going through recovery is through specialized groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Everyone is there for the same purpose and likely is serious about their intention of overcoming addiction.
These meetings, which can take place in-person or online, will allow you to meet others at various stages of the recovery process, which can provide invaluable insight and perspective into your journey.
1. Come early, stay late
Group meetings always need assistance setting up and breaking down. Showing up early or staying behind for even just 15 minutes will create opportunities to talk one-on-one with others who are doing the same. Plus, it’s likely that those who are sticking around are more involved in the group than other members, and can expand your recovery community even more quickly.
2. Volunteer within the group
Is your AA group looking for someone to bring snacks or assist with the newsletter? That’s a golden opportunity to get to know your peers a little better. Working together with a common goal will give you additional time outside of meetings to get to know one another but with a built-in conversation starter.
3. Attend meetings regularly
As you can probably imagine, it’s hard to get to know someone who isn’t there. Try to maintain regular meeting attendance so that you can create rapport with others and become a part of the fabric of that group. You’ll naturally find yourself learning the names of others and interacting with them over time.
MEETING PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF AA
Non-alcoholic beers, once a niche beverage offering, are now staples in well-stocked bars. Mocktails, another common alcohol alternative that was once little more than juice and some seltzer, have evolved to become just as enticing, delicious, and well-crafted as their liquor counterparts and are now mainstays in drink menus.
All of this has made it even easier to find a recovery community outside of traditional addiction recovery circles. Keep this in mind when searching for sober communities outside of AA.
1. Check the event calendar of your addiction treatment facility
If you went to drug rehab, odds are that your treatment facility has a program for its alumni. Take advantage of this and participate whenever possible to connect with others who have completed the program as you also have.
2. Search “sober” + ______
Whatever gatherings or events you have in mind, add the word ‘sober’ to your search query and you’ll likely be impressed with how many activities there now are to cater to sober-minded individuals. A new but growing movement is seeing people who have never struggled with addiction wanting to live alcohol and drug-free lives. From this desire, sober bars, parties, and even nightclubs have been born in major cities around the world.
3. Follow addiction recovery social media accounts
The power of social media to connect us is real. Utilize the power of technology to find your sober tribe by following social media accounts dedicated to the lifestyle. These can be memes, inspirational quotes, or recovery story accounts on Instagram or inspiring Facebook groups. Whatever your preferred platform, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Addiction can be a painfully lonely experience that isolates people suffering from substance abuse disorders from their families, friends, and loved ones. If you’re struggling with drug addiction, find a rehab near you, today.