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How support groups help to treat addiction

Peer support groups, combined with medical treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, are really effective in helping with addiction recovery and reducing the chances of relapse. 

Peer support groups are groups of people who meet together to receive support by sharing their experiences and personal knowledge of addiction. They are a place to offer understanding, share stories and give advice on coping strategies that have helped individuals on their personal addiction recovery journeys. 

Benefits of support groups 

There are some obvious social benefits of meeting together with people who have shared experiences similar to your own. Peer support groups remind people that they aren’t alone, they offer real life experience and support and they are free and confidential. 

Support groups help to stay motivated  

It’s so encouraging to have a group of friends to share both the challenges and successes of life with. A support group is that group of friends. 

Being part of a group and feeling like you are contributing to something helps someone to keep attending and showing up – showing up for others, and for themselves. 

Addiction support groups help you stay realistic 

It’s helpful to be reminded of the realities of addiction recovery. It helps people to know it’s not always going to be easy. It helps you be prepared and realistic. 

But, seeing other people in a support group overcome challenges and move past the difficult times is helpful and encouraging to learn from too. 

Support groups help prevent relapse 

Groups give participants the opportunity to connect to new resources that they haven’t heard of before. They introduce people to new contacts and widen their network of connections. 

Peer groups present the opportunity to learn new problem-solving skills by listening to how other members of the group have approached challenges and overcome hurdles in their recovery journeys. 

Support groups encourage self-care, which is important to recovery. They provide a space and time to step back from other areas of life and to focus on recovery. 

Support groups work! 

Clients and residents from Livingstone House are testament to the positive effects of support groups, as shared by RL in his recovery story

“I have established myself in 12 step groups in Birmingham. Built a healthy relationship with my family members including my father which was non-existent for 10 years. I have a good network of friends in recovery.” 

The network of friends that a peer support group gives individuals is both vital in a recovery journey and in helping people not to relapse once they have completed medical treatments. A support group provides the ongoing encouragement someone needs to stay focused on their recovery journey. 

Are you looking for a support group? 

Peer support groups are part of the aftercare programme at Livingstone House with residents taking part in the 12 step meetings together. But, if choosing the addiction treatment programme at Livingstone House isn’t an option for you – try the search function on ‘Talk to Frank’ to find support with drug and alcohol addiction near you. 

Do you know someone who needs help with addiction treatment? If you are worried about someone in your care, your family or your social group who you think needs to get help with addiction treatment, get in touch with us and we can signpost you to the right services or programme we offer. 

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