If you’re exploring substance use disorder treatment for yourself or a loved one, you’ve likely encountered the idea of attending meetings where people share their stories of addiction and why they decided to change their lives for the better. What’s the value of these groups, and why is it essential to faithfully go to your gatherings?
Benefits of Attending Recovery Meetings
Recovery meetings are peer support groups whose members routinely get together to help motivate each other to stay clean and sober. Several different organizations rely on the meeting format, but the ones you’re probably most familiar with are ones that use the 12 steps, like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
It might take some trial and error to find a group that feels like “home” to you, but once you do, you will need to commit to attending meetings, even on days when you may lack the motivation to go. In doing so, you can look forward to enjoying advantages like these.
- Going to meetings provides social support and will help you feel less lonely, thus lessening the impact isolation can have on your mental health.
- Meetings can fill the hours you used to spend drinking or using. Now, you can head to a meeting after work, instead of stopping at a bar.
- Over time, the relationships you forge in your recovery group will foster a sense of accountability, especially if you seek a sponsor.
- In pursuing your sobriety goals, you might have had to cut ties with old drug or drinking buddies who don’t understand or support your new priorities. Regularly showing up for meetings can help you make friends with people who share your objectives.
- Sticking to a consistent meeting schedule can impose much-needed structure in your life as you work on your sobriety.
- After you complete a long-term residential treatment program, peer support groups can provide a safety net that reinforces the relapse prevention skills you learned in rehab.
- Hearing other people’s stories might give you a sense of perspective and teach you that you’re not alone in your struggles.
Understanding and Addressing Your Unique Needs
Treatment for any chronic disease is more complicated than merely quitting the substances or habits that have contributed to its development. In learning to manage their illness, people who live with chronic, relapsing diseases like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and substance use disorders must actively change the behaviors that make them sicker. For that reason, quitting drinking and using is only one piece of the puzzle.
It’s possible for cravings, stressors and post-acute withdrawal syndrome symptoms to threaten your sobriety, even if you have successfully abstained from substance use for months or years.
The peer support nature of recovery meetings – even if you must attend virtually – can curb the urge to drink or use drugs and extend your recovery support system, thus helping you maintain a positive attitude and remain on track with your sobriety goals.
At Canyon Crossing, we understand women and men respond differently to substance misuse, addiction treatment and recovery. That’s why we offer single-gender treatment that allows you to focus on your well-being with fewer distractions. Reach out to us with any questions.