28 Aug Addiction Recovery: Why Peer Support Plays a Key Role
Anyone who has fought to overcome an addiction knows how challenging doing so can be. However, men and women who receive love and support as they go through this process often find their recovery is more manageable. They can tackle challenges head-on and overcome them, and their life is more enjoyable in every way. Socialization is important for all humans, and addicts need others who understand what they are going through.
Peer support groups bring together individuals in addiction recovery. Family and friends may be there to support the addict, but the addict might feel as if loved ones are belittling them because they don’t share these struggles. Those in the group are there to provide encouragement and support. The connection between those taking part in the group is unique and one that individuals who don’t suffer from an addiction struggle to understand.
Understanding Peer Support
Peer support looks different depending on where a person chooses to get it. Alcoholics Anonymous is an excellent example of a peer support group that countless individuals have used with great success. Narcotics Anonymous is another group, one designed for drug addicts rather than alcoholics. However, other recovery organizations make use of the peer support model, including many inpatient facilities.
Addiction treatment centers often bring patients together to discuss their recovery journeys. Sober living homes also utilize this technique to help patients continue on this journey once they leave an inpatient facility. The mentors and sponsors in these programs are frequently recovering addicts who have several years of sobriety under their belts.
The Benefits of Peer Support Groups
Some people question the effectiveness of peer support groups. The groups are nonclinical, so do they honestly work? Research shows they are of great benefit today. What benefits are seen with peer support groups?
Individuals who take part in these groups use fewer drugs and drink less alcohol. Many addicts remain completely sober while taking part in the program. For those who are still working to overcome the addiction and achieve sobriety, taking part in the group increases the likelihood of them completing a treatment program.
Many peer support groups connect addicts with mentors. If they find they are struggling, they can reach out to the mentor for help. In addition, this individual shows that long-term sobriety is possible.
The peer support group helps the addict remain accountable. This accountability is typically lacking in other treatment programs, but it is of great help to those looking to achieve sobriety and maintain it. The social pressure to abstain from doing drugs or drinking alcohol is of great help. Everyone in the group wants to see themselves and the other participants have better lives and they hold each other accountable when it comes to working to achieve this goal.
People taking part in a peer support group have a sense of belonging. They often find they cannot hang out with their friends because these friends continue to use their substances of choice. Remaining sober while around them can be extremely difficult. The peer support group provides the addict with new people to spend time with, people who understand their struggles and want to see them succeed in overcoming the addiction.
Any person struggling to overcome an addiction should seek treatment immediately. When doing so, ask if there is a peer support component. This support can be invaluable when it comes to getting sober and staying that way, so it should be a priority for all addicts on the journey to sobriety.
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