5 Ways that Community Support Aids Sobriety

Posted in: Recovery

September 18, 2014

People in a circle holding hands

Substance addictions often isolate people from their loved ones. Users become cut off from the people that they care most about, and the addiction takes center stage in their lives. So when someone decides to end their addiction, they may think that recovery is also a solitary experience, but the truth is that recovery is best achieved with help from others. Getting help from other people through each stage of recovery is the best way to ensure sobriety, and the following five aspects of community support can encourage abstinence from drugs.

Restores Damaged Relationships

Addiction often alienates people from their friends and families, and it can be challenging to restore those relationships in the recovery process, but rebuilding trust in relationships is a great way to continue recovery. To restore these relationships, recovering addicts should both ask and give forgiveness to those they have harmed, and they should give it to those who have harmed them. Afterwards, a recovering user and their loved ones can then agree to make a fresh start.

As SAMHSA describes, repaired relationships can create a powerful community that promotes the following feelings:

  • Autonomy
  • Belonging
  • Community participation
  • Empowerment
  • Personhood
  • Social inclusion
With the right help, recovery is possible.

Examples of Success

Support groups are great opportunities for recovering addicts to meet and befriend people who are also going through recovery. These groups show participants that they are not alone in their struggles, because others have had similar experiences. However, the best aspect of support groups is perhaps the many examples they offer of success. In these groups, people can see how the lives of other members have improved, so they can use other people’s stories both for inspiration and as examples of how to achieve long-term sobriety.

Supports Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Jason Powers explains that, for people to succeed in recovery long-term, they must find purpose, meaning and joy in life through positive habits and healthy lifestyles. One of the best ways to develop and maintain healthy habits is through community. One’s family, friends and support group can encourage him to engage these practices, but these people can also participate in those practices with him. For example, a recovering addict may begin running recreationally, so his wife may join him on runs for support.

Encourages Open and Honest Communication

An addict will often lie to their family about their problems, so they may conceal important truths to keep their family and friends from knowing their pain. Being honest with oneself and others is an essential component of healing from addiction. This honesty can translate into open communication with loved ones, which in turn can strengthen relationships and improve community support.

Provides Opportunities to Help Others

Support groups and restored relationships can be great ways for people to find an encouraging community in recovery, but these communities also allow recovering addicts to return that encouragement to other people who need it. For instance, a recovering addict can mentor a fellow support group member, or they can encourage a loved one to get help with an addiction.

Find Out More About Community Support and Sobriety

Communities are essential parts of addiction recovery, because they not only help users heal from the damage of addiction, but they also offer ways for people to help others. If you or a loved one are seeking treatment from a place that values longterm relationships give us a call at 615-490-9376.

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