Peer support groups are a beneficial recovery aid for those with substance use disorder (SUD). They provide self-awareness, understanding, knowledge, and motivation. Although such groups alone are not usually enough to treat SUD, they are a positive source of encouragement for members.
By interacting with others in a similar spot in life, you gain connection, support, inspiration, and a network of sober individuals. Such groups are anonymous, meaning those involved are free from public shame and stigma. They are accessible to those from all walks of life, cultures, and financial backgrounds.
The most popular 12-Step programs are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), but these are not the only options. There are a variety of 12-Step recovery-based programs available. These programs include meetings that follow 12 steps of guidance for recovery. These 12 steps are usually as follows (or similar):
This philosophy is based on addiction as a disease that can be treated but not cured. 12-Step programs offer a social network of sober individuals that encourage your recovery. Through the steps and attending meetings, members can improve themselves by reducing selfishness, helping others, and remaining substance-free.
12-Step groups also often incorporate having a sponsor who will help hold you accountable for your actions and support you in your recovery. Sponsorship provides you with one-on-one attention from a senior member. Becoming a sponsor later on in your recovery can also be a meaningful aspect of your journey.
Being active in a 12-Step program improves SUD outcomes. Both attending meetings and participating lead to better recovery success. It is essential to be present during meetings and the 12-Step process, as attendance alone does not show such an impact.
12-Step meetings are not an alternative to detox, therapy, or medication but a beneficial addition. Both attending meetings early on in recovery and continuing attendance show better outcomes. It is also essential to continue with other SUD treatments.
Not only do 12-Step groups help you take accountability for your actions, but they motivate you to continue with your journey. When you meet others who are living fulfilling, sober lives, you are more likely to take action in your own life. Bonding with those in your 12-Step group and joining sober activities encourages your recovery.
Attending daily or weekly meetings offers a sense of routine and security. When you regularly make this a goal and meet it, it encourages you to continue. As you attend meetings and build bonds with other members, you develop engagement and feel proud of your success.
Having others hold you accountable and celebrate your success is an effective tool throughout your recovery. Developing coping skills, self-awareness, and growth are all aspects of being a member of a 12-Step group.
All peer support programs vary in dynamics, so trying out a few before picking one that works for you is beneficial. Some 12-Step programs rely on religion as a form of faith while others are less spiritual or observe a higher power differently. Finding a group that you feel comfortable in is key to gaining the benefits from participating.
When you are choosing a group, it is helpful to discuss it with your therapist or healthcare professional. As they may be familiar with your history, personality, and beliefs, they may be able to suggest meetings near you that fit your comfort level.
Finding the right 12-Step program for you is like finding the right therapist. You want a group that you relate to. It can be helpful to look for a group with people similar to your age as you may feel more at ease. It will likely be nerve-racking at first, but speaking is voluntary. As you search for the right group, you can listen to others and see if you find commonalities within your stories or relate to the other members.
12-Step programs are accessible outlets for those in addiction recovery. Although not a required aspect of SUD treatment, 12-step programs offer a sense of fellowship and connection not often found elsewhere for those recovering. During recovery, you may feel lonely or lost. Joining a 12-Step program during or after SUD treatment can provide you with the support you need. At California Care Detox & Treatment, we offer a number of treatment modalities to prepare you for life after rehab. While in our care, you will learn about 12-Step programs, as well as many other treatment modalities, and we will guide you through the benefits and options you have. We will treat you from detox and beyond. Once you are outside our facility, we provide aftercare to ensure you adjust to sober life outside our doors. To start your recovery journey with us, call now at (949) 281-0632.