Finding the Right Support Group For Your Recovery Journey

Leaving treatment and finding the right aftercare program is challenging already, but deciding to find the right support group can be another obstacle to overcome. Numerous kinds of support groups are made for individuals’ various needs and backgrounds in recovery, so finding the right one for your journey can be challenging. By examining the different support groups available, their philosophies, and who they are best suited for, you can decide which support group is best for you.

What Are The Benefits of Support Groups?

After leaving treatment, you may feel as though you can handle recovery on your own. However, this belief is what causes many people to relapse down the road. Support groups help prevent relapse by providing sober communities, safe spaces, and programs to help individuals avoid complacency in recovery. The bonds you form with others in recovery will be unlike other friendships you have because these individuals can empathize with you. They know what you have been through, and you can receive practical advice for long-term recovery. 

When you are struggling in recovery, the support group will get you back on track and keep you motivated. Choosing the right support group for your journey is critical to recovery success.

12-Step Support Groups

Perhaps the most popular and well-known support groups in the recovery world are those based on the 12-Steps. Founded in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was the first 12-Step support group to hit the recovery scene. It was soon followed by Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and now there are numerous 12-Step groups for all individuals struggling with addiction. The groups are led by the members and are entirely self-supported. 

The 12-Steps refer to the tasks outlined in “The Big Book” that members of these groups use. They outline specific tasks to do that will help you achieve lasting sobriety. One major attraction of these groups is the anonymity, as referenced in the groups’ names.

SMART Recovery

Not everyone finds the 12-Step model helpful in recovery, and that is okay. If you attend a meeting of a 12-Step support group and decide it isn’t for you, you can try one of the many other groups. One popular support group that is not based on the 12-Steps is SMART Recovery. SMART is an acronym that stands for “self-management and recovery training.” The group focuses on self-empowerment in recovery and has a licensed counselor run each group meeting. The program focuses on four points:

  1. Building and maintaining motivation
  2. Coping with urges
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  4. Living a balanced life

You can make numerous connections through SMART recovery because of the size of the organization. There are also virtual meetings to attend if there is not a group near you.

Celebrate Recovery

More religious individuals may prefer a faith-based organization to support their sobriety. Celebrate Recovery is a Christian-based organization that uses biblical scripture to find strength and motivation in recovery. Individuals in this support group look to a higher power for guidance and support, accepting this figure’s control. Meetings usually take place at local churches, but you can find meeting locations near you online.

Secular Organization for Sobriety (SOS): Save Our Selves

If you are not religious and looking for a more secular approach to sobriety, Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS): Save Our Selves could be an excellent option. The group gives credit to individuals for achieving and maintaining sobriety. They denounce the common belief laid out by 12-Step-based and other support groups that the only possible way to achieve sobriety is through submission to a Higher Power. They believe that it is only through self-reliance and self-respect that one can indeed find and maintain sobriety.

Women for Sobriety (WFS)

Just as many treatment facilities are gender-based, there are support groups designed specifically for men or women. Women for Sobriety (WFS) was the first recovery support group that was specifically for women. They discuss issues that pertain specifically to women in addiction and recovery by following 13 outlined acceptance statements. The statements focus primarily on helping women release negative thoughts and forgive past mistakes. There are online chats and forums within the group, as well as in-person meetings.

Finding the Right Support Group

With so many options available, choosing a support group that is right for your recovery needs can be confusing. The best way to address this issue is by taking an inventory of what you need in recovery and trying out different groups that address these needs. If you are afraid to go alone, ask a trusted friend to come with you. Remember, recovery is lifelong. Support groups can help you maintain it successfully.

Addiction support groups are critical for lifelong recovery. They are a form of aftercare that many people overlook because they believe such meetings are unnecessary. However, support groups serve a fundamental purpose in recovery that serves and motivates individuals in need of support, community, and fellowship. If you struggle with choosing the right support group for you, NorthStar Transitions is here to help. Our treatment programs are specifically tailored to our patient’s needs, so we are no stranger to addressing one’s specific needs in recovery. Together, we can go over what you require for lifelong successful recovery and help you narrow down the search in potential support groups. We can offer advice as you try out various groups because your recovery is our priority. With NorthStar Transitions, you can be sure to achieve and maintain lifelong sobriety. Call us today to learn more at (303) 558-6400. Your recovery continues with NorthStar.

Search Blog Posts
Back to blog
Call 866-407-2240
Verify Insurance