The Importance of community support in Recovery: When a person is trapped in the cycle of addiction, it can feel impossible to find another path without reaching for outside help. Addiction can cloud the individual’s judgment and make it difficult to see possibilities for the future. At the same time, the same daily patterns and environments can make it nearly impossible for an addict to avoid temptation.
So, what is the solution to help a person break the cycle and start a new path of sobriety? While treatment programs take multi-faceted approaches with the way the programs are designed, there is one foundational element that needs to be in place for a successful recovery. According to Forbes.com, the community is one of the best treatments for drug addiction.
Breaking Through Isolation
In many situations, substance abuse causes the addict to become isolated from family and friends. The addiction takes priority over relationships and responsibilities, often cause pain and injury among loved ones.
In the same way that the addict detached from relationships as the addiction progressed, it is important to rebuild those relationships during the recovery process. Isolation can be a dangerous situation when a person is trying to change their habits and choices. Instead of attempting a do-it-yourself approach, the addict needs to see the benefits of tapping into the relationships and community that will help during every stage of recovery.
Two aspects of community support should be addressed in recovery:
- Personal Relationships: It can be a challenge to restore relationships that have been damaged. But, recovery is an opportunity to rebuild trust and improve the overall results in recovery. Individuals need to be ready to ask for forgiveness and give it in return. The goal should be to create a fresh start so that the recovering addict can tap into the support of people who care.
- Support Groups: At the same time, it can be beneficial to have a network of friends who know the situation. Befriending people who are also going through recovery helps an individual to see that they aren’t alone in their challenges. Using other people’s stories and advice can be inspirational. It is also helpful to have accountability for those who understand the unique challenges that come up in recovery.
The goal should be to build both types of relationships while going through a rehabilitation program. Then, these strong relationships can form the foundation that is needed to maintain a sober lifestyle going forward.
Post-Treatment Community Support
What are the benefits of community support in sobriety? Here are some of the benefits that might be expected when an individual has a strong community:
- Healthy Lifestyle Influences: Instead of spending time with friends who promote poor behaviour, a good community can add positive influences. Avoiding triggers, participating in good nutrition and exercise, and focusing on mental health are examples of support that can come from family and friends.
- Service Opportunities: Not only does the community provide the support that is needed to get past the addiction, but opportunities open up to help others as well. Participating in a community means that you can benefit from the support while also offering encouragement to others who are on the same path. This dynamic can create a sense of purpose, making it easier to stay on track with healthy lifestyle goals.
- Open Communication: When a person is no longer trying to hide an addiction, then it becomes easier to maintain quality relationships. Not only does the individual need to be honest with family and friends, but it is also important to be honest with oneself.
- Coping with Stressors: Life problems are inevitable, and it is essential that a person has a network to tap into. These resources give the person the ability to cope with stress in life. Instead of turning back to drugs and alcohol, resources are available in the form of therapists, sponsors, friends, and family. Having this community in place decreases the chances that a person will slip back into destructive behaviour again.
One of the benefits of choosing experienced rehab facilities is the outpatient programs that support the individual in returning to a normal lifestyle once again. Not only is the community created throughout the inpatient program, but specific methods are used to ensure that the community is maintained after the formal treatment is finished. This process has been proven to create opportunities for long-term success in recovery.