A support group for addiction allows formal or present addicted people to share their personal experiences. There are a number of groups that can benefit anyone with any type of addiction. A support group can also be helpful for addicted people with co-occurring mental conditions like depression, anxiety, and so on.
“Support groups can provide emotional guidance and support for addicted people when cravings strike”
Benefits of Addiction Support Groups
There are many many benefits you will find while attending addiction support groups, but here are some important points of how beneficial can be addiction support groups for people who need it:
- Meeting new people who want a sober life like you
- Learning skills to conquer cravings
- Getting support during difficult emotional periods of life
- Having people to hold you accountable
- Knowing you are not alone
Popular Support Groups for Addiction
There are a number of popular support groups for addiction, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART. When you know what to expect from a support group it will help in choosing the right group for you. The most necessary thing about choosing a group is making sure it is encouraging and also constructive.
Many people now have a sober life with the help of addiction support groups they used to attend. However, support groups are only a part of addiction treatment, often it is considered to be the last phase of the treatment they get. Combining support groups with inpatient treatment and individual therapy can significantly increase the chances of success.
In this article, West Valley Detox can help you explore your treatment options and find the best support group for you.
12-Step Support Groups
12-step support groups are started with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). As the name says, these groups maintain the anonymity of the people in attendance. This is for encouraging people to find help with the comfort of maintaining their privacy.
The 12-steps are a part of treatment in many inpatient alcohol and drug rehab facilities. The 12-steps are a set of tasks to complete that help people face their addiction head-on and maintain sobriety. Following in the footsteps of AA, people like the founder of Narcotics Anonymous began creating 12 step-groups for people also with other addictions, and not only alcohol.
Other 12-step groups include:
- Cocaine Anonymous
- Heroin Anonymous
- Pills Anonymous
- Crystal Meth Anonymous
- Marijuana Anonymous
All 12-step groups are self-supporting and peer-led. 12-step groups also have meetings that family and friends may attend with their loved ones.
Other Addiction Support Groups
There are many other addiction support groups that are not based on the 12-step model but are known as alternatives to 12-step support groups. Some people choose these alternatives because they don’t want to admit powerlessness to their addiction, the first part of the 12 steps. Some want a more secular support group while others want a more religiously focused group.
There are also countless online message boards and forums for addicted people looking for answers or those in recovery looking for support.
Some non-12-step addiction support groups include:
- SOS (Secular Organizations for Sobriety)
- WFS (Women for Sobriety)
- Celebrate Recovery
- JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons, and Significant Others)
SMART recovery is a type of support group that focuses on self-empowerment. The acronym means “Self-management and recovery training.” A facilitator, often a licensed counselor, leads each group and guides each person through a four-point program.
SMART bases the four points on motivational enhancement therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. According to SMART, participants can develop the ability to fully overcome their addiction. SMART also has an online community and web courses.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)
Secular Organizations for Sobriety, also known as Save Our Selves, also takes a self-empowerment approach to addiction recovery. Although the group is for any addicted person, many choose SOS for its secular approach to reaching sobriety.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety support groups guide people to overcome denial and addictive tendencies through honest communication. The founders of SOS maintain that recovery through self-reliance and personal responsibility is possible.
Women for Sobriety (WFS)
Understanding that men and women face different issues in recovery, WFS became the first addiction support group solely for women. Women for Sobriety bases its program on 13 “acceptance statements” that help shape the way recovering women approach life. These statements give women strength by teaching them to let go of negative thoughts and accept past mistakes.
Women for Sobriety holds groups for addicted women to share their struggles and find mutual support. Women can also participate in WFS-moderated online forums and chats.
People looking for a Christian-based support group can turn to Celebrate Recovery. This group centers all meetings on Christian scripture to find strength during recovery. Celebrate Recovery offers literature with a curriculum to beat addiction. It also adopted a Bible to include the parts of the curriculum.
The recovery model at Celebrate Recovery teaches participants to accept that a higher power is in control. This group also provides support for issues such as depression and low self-esteem.
Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others (JACS)
The mission of JACS is to help Jewish people in the U.S. live an independent, addiction-free life. JACS fosters addiction recovery by integrating participants into the Jewish community. This support group doesn’t allow judgment and is accepting of all variances of the Jewish faith. It also teaches participants to understand addiction and its causes. People can also subscribe to online discussions offered by JACS.