“Hello. My name is _____, and I am an addict.”
Making this announcement is challenging at first, but this is how some of the most popular self help groups get started. Everyone goes around in a circle, introducing themselves by owning the label that has led them to the meeting in the first place.
Announcing to a group of strangers that you are an addict is difficult, but creates a source of social accountability and personal acceptance of underlying issues.
This can help to break down barriers and create an environment that fosters honesty, openness and willingness to change—all aspects of a setting that is conducive to overcoming drug abuse and dependence. There are a number of self-help groups available to anyone interested in finding support, so don’t overlook this form of addiction treatment.
Getting involved with a self-help group can be a life-changing experience. Here are a few benefits many people find through these programs:
- Community Involvement: Drug abuse and dependence can stifle relationships and destroy your sense of community. Self-help groups create an atmosphere that fosters sharing and growth, and can create a community atmosphere among people who are trying to grow through addiction treatment.
- Support: In a self-help group you may find people you feel comfortable sharing with outside of your addiction counselor. This adds to the sense of community and creates an additional source of social accountability to help you stay on track.
- Personal Growth: Self-help groups foster personal growth by giving each person in the group space to share, learn and evolve emotionally. This starts from the opening sentence, where each participant is encouraged to share their name and openly identify themselves as an addict, and continues throughout the group session.
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Addiction Support Groups Set You Up for Long Term Recovery
Addiction support groups are an asset during addiction treatment, especially when combined with ongoing one-on-one addiction recovery. These groups provide a space where you can hear the stories of others who have gone through similar situations. You can gain perspective about your own history and get insight from others who have been through it before. You can even share knowledge that you have learned during your own recovery process to help those who are just starting out.
The self-help groups Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are two of the most popular groups around, but there are others, too. Talking with your addiction counselor, asking friends and doing a preliminary search online can help you find a self-help group that is right for you.