For people newly recovering from drug abuse, one of the best things they can do to continue their recovery efforts is to join a support group. As HelpGuide.org explains, “groups are very helpful, not only in maintaining your own sobriety, but also as a safe place to get support and discuss challenges.” Finding people who have shared your same struggles, who are experiencing similar feelings and thoughts, may be helpful both in the early days of sobriety and for years to come.
Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic that affects thousands every year in the United States. In 2012, the number of deaths attributed to prescription drug overdoses was nearly 17,000, according to the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence (CLAAD). Further, many people who first abuse prescription drugs tend to later abuse heroin. When people seek treatment for this abuse, the focus is largely on detoxifying the body from the effects of abuse, undergoing therapy, and building a life free from substance abuse.
But what happens when treatment is completed? What about aftercare? This is where support groups may step in. Though people who have been treated for prescription drug abuse may continue receiving some forms of therapy, counseling, or even medication, joining support groups can be a great way to ensure support for long-term recovery efforts. These meetings offer mental motivation for continued abstinence, accountability, and a way for members to share similar experiences and coping methods.
There are different types of support groups available for those recovering from prescription drug abuse, including 12-step programs and those that follow various other approaches. The following programs adhere to the 12-step model:
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
This program is perhaps one of the better-known support groups for people recovering from substance abuse. It is open to people who are victims of any substance abuse. The 12 steps of the program help guide participants through recovery by asking them to uphold principles. Some of these include committing to a healthy lifestyle, putting faith in a higher power (defined at will), and engaging in self-love and self-awareness.
Members are also responsible for choosing a personal sponsor, or a person who formerly struggled with addiction and who has entered sobriety. The sponsor has generally spent a length of time sober and offers support and guidance to help you remain dedicated to your recovery.
The program is conducted through meetings, held at a specified time, usually weekly. Members participate in group listening, may participate in a prayer, and can share if they are ready. The group is free to all members, and any information shared within the group is confidential.
Pills Anonymous is a support group dedicated to members who want recovery from prescription drug (pills) abuse. As described on the organization’s web page, this program, “is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from pill addiction.” The group does not have any ties to religions, political parties, etc. Members attend meetings, participate in a 12-step program, and work to help others achieve long-term recovery success.
Dual Recovery Anonymous
This program offers support for people who are suffering from more than just substance abuse. Dual recovery covers support for persons with a dual diagnosis or who have been diagnosed with more than one disorder, such as substance abuse and mental health conditions. Struggling with one disorder is difficult but struggling with two may make basic life functions difficult. Different disorders require different types of treatment, targeting separate symptoms. Successful treatment may require aftercare and this support group could help with that process. Dual Recovery Anonymous is structured through a 12-step program, similar to NA.
Secular Organizations For Sobriety (SOS)
This international organization approaches support from a scientific outlook. It focuses on self-empowerment fostered by abstinence from substances. The program offers meetings which promote the alternative recovery method, as well as the self-empowerment goal. Meetings are led with the core belief that a person’s sobriety should be separate from his or her spirituality or religious beliefs. Consequently, the program encourages people to remember that they have reached sobriety, free from the influence of a higher power.
SMART Recovery adopts four key principles which help participants, “change self-defeating thinking, emotions, and actions; and to work towards long-term satisfactions and quality of life.” The program operates a 4-point program adapted from a scientific approach. The four points include:
- Motivation—both how to build it and how to maintain it
- Learning how to deal with cravings/urges
- Learning how to handle one’s emotions, behaviors, and thoughts
- Creating a new lifestyle that has balance and is free from substance abuse
SMART Recovery employs several methods and tools to help individuals through the program. These may include worksheets which help people weigh decisions, help with idea creation, role-playing as therapy, and more.
Find The Support You Need Today
Recovery may be your hardest-attained goal, yet it can be so worthwhile when you have finally achieved it. Success in the long term may require continued care, or at least support, and substance abuse support groups are there to help you along the way. To learn more about these groups or others, to learn more about a prescription drug abuse prevention plan, or to get in contact with professionals about prescription drug abuse treatment, contact us today at DrugRehab.org.