Support groups are one of the most valuable tools you’ll have throughout recovery. Many people partake in support groups for the rest of their lives and consider them to be one of the most important influencers of their sobriety. Support groups keep you grounded, provide structure and offer a sense of accountability. They also make it easier for you to begin socializing and establishing positive connections post-rehab. The rehab that you choose may offer continued support groups for its members, so it’s important to choose a facility that truly resonates with you. Rather than a place you’ll temporarily pass through, a rehab can extend into a sober community you are proud to be a part of.
The Importance of Support Groups
One of the most important aspects of treatment as you prepare to leave rehab is continued care. How will you stay accountable? Who will you turn to when things become difficult? Support groups in rehab are your first glimpse at the level of support you can receive beyond treatment. Support groups offer a safe space for people to come together and find solace in each other’s experiences. These groups provide support and guidance, accountability and structure that you can continue to implement into your life long after you’ve completed your initial treatment program. During the first year of recovery, support groups are one of the most valuable resources you’ll have. While you may transition into an outpatient program and see a private therapist, support groups cover a different base of recovery.
Social systems are fundamental to sobriety and good mental health, but they are not always easily accessible. Addiction can damage or even completely end relationships; broken trust takes time to rebuild, but trying to reconnect is stressful. You need people you can talk to who understand the struggle and are willing to accept you as you are, here and now. Support groups also offer the chance to make new friends who are sober; even if you only meet each other once a week in group, it’s an opportunity to socialize that you may not otherwise have. For those who are prone to isolating or live alone, support groups give you a good reason to get out of the house for a positive reason in a non-triggering environment.
Are support groups the same thing as group therapy?
No, they aren’t. Although both involve organized meetings of people in recovery, support groups are much more informal. Group therapy is led by a licensed substance abuse counselor or therapist who guides people through a particular form of therapy. They are designed to teach you skills that you can utilize throughout your recovery; you may also attend different group therapies to treat a co-occurring disorder like depression. Support groups are either led by rehab’s former members or an organization like AA or NA. They do not offer any professional counseling services or hold any specific titles; they simply meet for the sake of offering support and guidance to one another. You’ll likely stop attending group therapy after you complete rehab, but support groups may continue to be something you utilize as a recovery resource for the rest of your life. You can transition from rehab into outpatient therapy and support groups where you meet a sponsor. Sponsors are people who have been sober for at least one year and help newcomers navigate early sobriety.
Sponsorship in Recovery
Although you are free to choose your own support group outside of rehab, you may find that the one your facility offers is the right fit. You’ll likely be able to continue meeting with peers you met during treatment, and it can be therapeutic just to see the progress they make over time. You might also be able to connect with someone who has completed treatment at your rehab and is now a sponsor. Sponsors are people who have been sober for at least a year and help people during recovery. You can reach out to them for support and reassurance; they help you stay on track and make healthier choices. You may even decide that you would like to become a sponsor someday and continue the cycle of positivity and hope.
Find Your Perfect Rehab Today
From medically supervised detox to support groups and aftercare, we can match you with a rehab center that has everything you need. It’s never the wrong time to get help. Reach out to us today and learn more at 844-639-8371.