Alcohol and drug addictions affect many people. The possible reasons for the addiction are numerous. Life stresses, depression, lifestyle choices, and wrong influences can all lead someone down the wrong path. Many people are more prone to develop addictions because of their emotional and mental makeup and various psychological conditions and disorders. Various treatment plans and programs have been developed over the years to assist people battling with substance abuse issues. Experts highlight the value of a strong support system in the recovery process.
The Benefits of a Support System
There are many reasons why having a supportive network around them can make a huge difference in someone’s recovery journey. Family and friends can provide the much-needed check-ins and encouragement along the way. Having people to share the burden and take on some extra responsibilities can free someone up to pursue their treatment plan with less stress. It also helps to have people to share the struggles with and talk to at every stage of the process.
Many recovery programs have group options available. This is where people walking through similar challenges can be guided in the recovery process as a group. The impact of this can help someone realize they are not alone in their struggle. Attending these kinds of programs works best when done consistently so that those connections form, and there is accountability as well. Many addiction services can also offer family counseling for the person and their spouse and family to receive professional services together.
Addiction recovery groups take up many different forms and structures. Most of the time, they are voluntary groups. People struggling with addiction can join these to find help in overcoming their mutual challenges. The methods used can differ greatly. Some groups use more of a psychological-based system, while others are spiritual in nature. Some might work hand in hand with medical professionals, while others are not as structured.
Many surveys have been done to look at the impact on a group recovery program to a person’s success in breaking an addiction. Although the individual results are subject to other factors in a person’s life and their commitment to the programs, many surveys confirm that there is a higher chance of sobriety with involvement in a group program.
The Growth of Alcoholics Anonymous
One of the most famous group recovery systems developed is Alcoholics Anonymous. It has grown to be a worldwide body and is often referenced in mainstream media. The organization was started by Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith in 1935. Their story has been told in many books and films. They were inspired to start the group after they each went through their own struggles with alcoholism.
Alcoholism has been a problem from way back. During and after prohibition, many people struggled with addiction to alcohol and sort relief from various systems that were in place. When Bill Wilson joined what was known as the Oxford Group to find help, this was the beginning of his journey to being a co-founder of one of the largest alcoholism support groups in the world.
Research on the Role of Support
Many studies have also been conducted on the positive role that support can play, not just for people facing addictions, but in general. Among the major benefits are the companionship, coping skills, and increased wellbeing that come with it. There is a worldwide epidemic of loneliness, and a major part of that is the absence of support structures in many people’s lives. Building a strong network of family and friends can improve someone’s overall health and life experience.