Support Groups

Recovering from addiction can be a lonely time. You may feel that others do not understand what you are going through and that you have nobody to talk to. Fellowship and support groups provide a safe space with others in the same situation as you and offer a sense of community and support.

There are various types of support groups and meetings that can be incorporated into your addiction treatment program, and there are many positive benefits to be gained from attending them.

What Is a Support Group?

Support groups bring people who have been through or are going through a similar experience together. They provide a safe, welcoming environment to share personal experiences, coping strategies, and information about treatments and experiences. You can also access support groups for additional emotional support during treatment in addiction recovery.

Support Group Vs Fellowship Group

Support groups and fellowship groups may sound similar, but they have subtle differences. Fellowship groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are based on the 12-step model. While other support groups are not necessarily fellowships, fellowships are still support groups.

Finding Support During Lockdown

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a knock-on effect for many groups. As many meetings could not be held in person, they have shifted to online forums that still provide peer support for those in need.

What Is the Mission of Support Groups?

The purpose of support groups is to provide a safe space for people with substance use disorders. This can be through allowing them to talk about their experiences or simply listening to others who have been in the same position. They encourage members to stay on track, remain abstinent on their recovery journey, and find healthy coping mechanisms to help overcome obstacles.

Types of Support Groups

There are several types of support groups on offer for those with substance use disorders:

  • Mutual support groups – These are often peer-led groups that allow people to lean on one another for support. Although facilitators receive training, they do not provide advice as professionals.
  • 12-step groups – These support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Cocaine Anonymous (CA). They walk participants through the 12-steps to recovery as created by Alcoholics Anonymous and support them throughout the process.
  • Family support groups – The family of those struggling with a substance use disorder can be majorly affected by their actions. Family support groups provide a space for families to discuss their problems.

Do You Need Help?

We offer initial assessment and advice via phone or contact form.

What Are the Benefits of Support Groups?

Attending support groups has many benefits for those in addiction recovery. Support groups can help you to:

  • Maintain hope
  • Share experiences
  • Learn coping mechanisms
  • Provide emotional support
  • Maintain momentum in recovery
  • Gain inspiration
  • Gain strength
  • Take charge of their lives
  • Create sober friendships

Do I Have to Be Religious to Attend Support Groups?

In short, no. While many support groups, such as 12-step programs, have spiritual overtones that influence how they are run, you do not need to be religious to join.

Many support groups are secular in nature, such as LifeRing and Rational Recovery. Alternatively, if you prefer religious support groups, there are options such as Celebrate Recovery and Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons, And Significant Others (JACS).

What to Expect at a Fellowship Meeting

Every group is different, but there are a few things that you can generally expect from each one:

  • A clear structure – many good support groups have a clear structure for their meetings. You can generally expect part of this to be a welcome message and introductions and a group discussion that may or may not be themed.
  • Guidelines – your support group should have clear policies, such as who can and cannot attend and how much time each person can spend sharing to prevent anyone from monopolizing the group’s time.
  • A trained facilitator – facilitators help set clear boundaries and keep discussions on track. They will also handle any emergencies that may arise during a session.

How Are Group Meetings Included in (United Recovery CA)’s Aftercare Plan?

Substance use disorders do not vanish after detox or a stay in rehab. Many people have to work hard to stay in recovery, and support groups provide an excellent starting point.

At United Recovery CA, we believe that support groups are vital to maintaining sobriety and providing a strong community for people in addiction recovery. We include support groups as part of our alumni outpatient treatment program to help our clients continue their recovery journey.

Our custom aftercare plans will help you find meetings local to you and will support each step on your road to recovery. United Recovery CA provides 12-step groups to foster long-term recovery and a dedicated support worker who can help create a timetable for your first few weeks after treatment.

You will work together to create goals as you move forward, and your support worker will be available to offer advice about choosing a sponsor and navigating the options for different support groups.

Meet Your Recovery Team

The recovery journey is unique and personal to everyone. Our team are highly trained professionals who set United Recovery CA apart due to their expertize, and each staff member brings their unique knowledge and experience to addiction treatment. They provide a safe environment to provide the ideal start of your addiction recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the 12-steps?

The 12-steps have grown and changed over the years, but their core principles have remained the same:

  • Honesty – admitting they have a problem.
  • Faith – believing that a higher power can help them to heal.
  • Surrender – recognizing that you can’t recover alone, but you can with help from your higher power.
  • Soul searching – identifying their problems.
  • Integrity – admitting wrongs in front of another person and their higher power.
  • Acceptance – acknowledging character flaws and being willing to let them go.
  • Humility – asking the higher power to do something you can’t do alone.
  • Willingness – showing that you are willing to begin recovery.
  • Forgiveness – making amends and healing relationships harmed during active addiction.
  • Maintenance – admitting to being wrong.
  • Making contact – discovering the plan that your higher power has for your life.
  • Service – carrying the message to others.
Can I stay anonymous during support group meetings?

Yes. Many support groups rely on anonymity to work, as it both protects participants and avoids issues such as socioeconomic status, professional positions, and titles. Remaining anonymous also reassures those involved that others in the group will not discuss their personal issues and information.

Some people are concerned about the stigma of substance abuse, and keeping support groups anonymous helps remove this fear and encourage them to seek support for their problems. Many people choose only to be known by their first name during group sessions, therefore protecting their identity.

Which support groups are not based on the 12-steps?

Although the 12-step programs are popular, there are many alternatives that you can access, and many groups are not based on the 12-step model. These include groups such as:

  • SMART – SMART (self-management and recovery training) groups operate on four points to aid participants in overcoming their addiction.
  • Women For Sobriety – This organization runs support groups solely for women, as men and women can face different issues in recovery.
  • Secular Organization for Sobriety (SOS) – SOS is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals access secular support groups for substance use disorders.
How do you find support groups?

You can find a support group via your doctor, a nonprofit organization, or a rehab center. You may also find support groups through services such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Alternatively, you could find a group through your local community or word of mouth.

Can I attend different recovery meetings?

Yes. You have the option to attend several different recovery meetings to discover which one is the best fit for you. If you dislike the dynamic of your group or feel that it isn’t the right fit, try another. Support groups may not work out for various reasons, and if you do not feel comfortable attending, you always have the option to leave. However, it is important to remember that you will only get the most out of your support group when you attend regularly, so give yourself a chance to settle into the ones you plan on attending.

Can United Recovery CA help me find meetings around me?

Yes. At United Recovery CA, we believe that everyone should be able to access support that suits them, and we will help you find groups in your local area and online if that is something that would work well for you. Contact one of our team members today to find more about meetings that you can attend during your recovery aftercare program.

Do You Need Help?

We have been there – now we are here for YOU!
Don’t hesitate to contact us so we can advise you on the best route to recovery.