Developing a Support Network
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that rates of relapse amongst those who complete treatment are consistently between 40 and 60 percent. In the majority of cases, the high rate of relapse is directly linked to a discontinuation of care – those who do not engage in a comprehensive aftercare plan upon program completion are at far greater risk of returning to drinking and using drugs.
In fact, those without a solid aftercare plan will often relapse within the first several months of program completion. Aftercare will look different for everyone, but it will always include the development of and continuous participation in a support group, which will ultimately become a support network. Some mistakenly believe that once treatment has concluded, the recovery process is complete. In reality, the completion of an addiction treatment program is truly just the beginning of the journey.
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The 12-Step Method of Addiction Recovery
Maintaining a support group is a vital component of every successful aftercare program. One of the best ways to develop a strong sober support network is by immediately immersing yourself in one of several 12 step programs, namely Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. At Evoke Wellness Massachusetts, we not only encourage our clients to continue participating in the 12 step method of addiction recovery long after they complete inpatient treatment, but we make 12 step meetings and program involvement a mandatory part of all of our programs, regardless of the treatment phase.
For example, those in medical detox will be asked to participate in on-site 12 step meetings if they are physically capable. Meetings facilitators will be brought in, and they will run in-house meetings geared towards familiarizing patients with the program while helping instill hope and optimism.
The Importance of Support Groups
in our inpatient facility, meetings will be brought into the residence and clients will be transported to and from local meetings on a near-daily basis. We mandate that all clients actively seek a sponsor and begin working the 12 steps as quickly as possible. Studies consistently prove that those who stay involved in Alcoholics Anonymous post-treatment have significantly higher success rates when it comes to maintaining long-term sobriety.
In Alcoholics Anonymous (and other 12 step programs) newly sober individuals learn several invaluable life skills. They learn how to reach out to others and ask for help, rely on the past experiences and kindness of others to help them walk through their own hardships, and how to provide support and help to others in need. 12 step meetings are a fundamental part of every recovery program.
Evoke Wellness MA: A Rehab You Can Trust
Developing a sober support network is a process that will begin as early as medical detox, and continue on throughout your entire recovery career. As time goes on you will add people to your support network, and people will fall off the grid – what is important is that you make sure you always have a solid group of trusted peers and counselors that you can rely on to pick up the phone or meet you for coffee no matter what.
At Evoke Wellness Massachusetts, we wholeheartedly believe in the importance of fostering healthy relationships with other members of the recovery community, whether that be peers, counselors or mentors. We help each and every one of our clients establish a sober support network that will stay by their side for years to come. For more information on support groups and support networks, give us a call today.