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    Dealing with drug addiction or alcohol abuse can be lonely, but support groups keep you connected and engaged with the community and other peers in recovery. Support groups provide a safe space to share, listen, and learn.

    And, there’s a support group for everyone. No matter what your struggle is or what type of addiction you’re dealing with, there’s a place to go for help and recovery support.

    Purpose Of Support Groups For Addiction

    There are several purposes or functions of support groups for addiction. Support groups can be effective if you’re looking to:

    • meet new people in recovery 
    • learn skills to conquer cravings to prevent further alcohol or drug use
    • receive support during difficult emotional times
    • have people hold you accountable
    • know you’re not alone

    When choosing a group, it’s important to make sure it’s both constructive and encouraging. If you need help finding a group, talking with your treatment provider is a good place to start.

    Learn more about How To Find A 12-Step Support Group Near You

    Types Of Addiction Support Groups

    There are a ton of different types of support or self-help groups for all kinds of addictions. Support groups can include in-person or online meetings. It all depends on the one you choose. Here are a few of the most common support groups and programs for addiction:

    12-Step Programs

    Twelve-step support groups are probably the most well-known addiction program. Twelve-step support groups use various steps or goals to lead participants towards recovery. 

    Most 12-step groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous, limit participants to only sharing their first names. Beyond that, they may share whatever they like to provide mutual support for others in addiction recovery. 

    12-step programs focus on accepting that a higher power is in control. Some of the steps in the 12-step model include admitting you’re powerless over alcohol and taking a personal inventory.

    Learn more about 12-Step Rehab Programs

    SMART Recovery

    Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is another type of support group. It focuses on self-empowerment and the person in charge of the group is often a licensed counselor who guides the group through the four-point program.

    The points include:

    • building and maintaining motivation
    • coping with urges
    • managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors
    • living a balanced life

    The four points are based on motivational enhancement and cognitive behavioral therapy. The meetings focus on the present and the future rather than the past and look for members to make healthy behavioral changes.

    SMART is not a spiritual model and it doesn’t believe addiction is a disease, but doesn’t exclude people who do believe that.

    Learn more about SMART Recovery

    Secular Organizations For Sobriety (SOS)

    Another type of  support group is called Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS). They’re similar to SMART as they take a self-empowerment approach to recovery using self-reliance and personal responsibility. 

    They also don’t bring in spirituality or God into the recovery process. They have groups for all forms of addiction; it’s not just limited to drugs and alcohol.

    Learn more about Secular Organizations For Sobriety (SOS)

    Women For Sobriety (WFS)

    Women for Sobriety (WFS) recognizes that women face different challenges when it comes to recovery and provides support groups for only women. The program is based on 13 statements that help participants shape their lives

    Learn more about Women For Sobriety (WFS)

    Family Support Groups

    There are also several support groups for families affected by addiction and substance abuse. Family support groups think of addiction as something that affects the whole family. Some of the more well-known family groups include Al-Anon and Alateen. 

    These groups teach family members of those addicted how to encourage that person, how to talk through their issues, and how to avoid enabling the person to use again. 

    Learn more about Al-Anon & Alateen

    If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction, contact our helpline today and find out what addiction treatment options are best for you.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Alcoholics Anonymous - The Twelve Steps Of Alcoholics Anonymous
    National Center for Biotechnology Information - Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Support Groups
    SMART Recovery - Introduction to SMART Recovery
    Treatment Improvement Protocol - Groups and Substance Abuse Treatment
    USA.gov - Mental Health and Substance Abuse

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