Since Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) began in 1935 in Akron, Ohio, group meetings — where peers suffering from the same addiction could share their experiences and provide support to the other members — became one of the most effective ways of maintaining strength and sobriety through all the trials of a lifelong addiction. These days, there are many different types of meetings for addicts, with different missions, focuses, and forms, which means that if you’re seeking a support group for your addiction or even a loved one’s addiction, they are very easy to find.
Outpatient care represents some of the most important lifelong continuing support for addicts after inpatient rehab. If you or a loved one is in rehab or struggling with addiction, give Outpatient Services a call at (844)211-7944 today!
The Benefits of Lifelong Attendance at Meetings
Addiction is a disease with unique challenges associated with it. Although the medical community is starting to look at it similarly to other chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, neither of these conditions come with the same physical and mental compulsion to use drugs and alcohol as addiction does, and because of this, it’s a much harder condition to treat and recover from.
Addicts go to group meetings long after detox and treatment are over because, like the other mentioned diseases, addiction is not curable. Similar to the way a diabetic person will have complications if they stop regulating their blood sugar levels, an addict can relapse with a single exposure to a given substance. Meetings are a great way to prevent and overcome these obstacles because they are a constant within the chaos that daily life often presents. People who are recovering from addiction are given strength when they know they aren’t alone. Here are some of the reasons why meetings of all kinds are important to recovering substance abusers.
Meetings Help Fight the Loneliness that Comes With Stigma
The medical community has come a long way in the past decade with educating the public about the causes of addiction, and how addicts aren’t addicts because they are morally ill, or weak-willed. With that said, addiction still isn’t something that people feel comfortable talking about, especially when an addict is in the company of non-addicts.
This can contribute to a feeling of being alone in the struggle to fight addiction, and group meetings can fight that by showing a recovering addict that there are many like them out there, fighting the same fight every day.
Strength In Numbers
Along the same lines, success in recovery gets a major boost from group meetings because of the fellowship that’s born there. When an addict relapses without support from a group, they may have sympathy from their friends and family, but empathy can only come from a group of people in a similar situation.
In most 12-step meetings formats, every new member has a veteran sponsor to help them through tough times, and everyone who hits a bump in the road to recovery has a whole group of people there to lift them back up before addiction can get its grip on a person fully.
Responsibility as a Mentor
There can be an urge to stop going to meetings as time gets farther and farther from the initial period of rehab and recovery, but think of it this way: when new addicts walk through the doors of a group meeting, the reception that they get has to potential to mean everything to their recovery.
If you went to your first meeting and was greeted by an empty room, how would you feel? The power of a group only helps everyone when everyone is accepted fully in the group.
For Addicts, Reason to Keep up the Fight is Felt at Meetings
Not all addicts try to gain strength from a higher power, but many 12-step programs tend to have an element of faith embedded in them. This is because faith can help a person find strength when things seem bleak. For a person who is sick and tired of the urge to use drugs or abuse alcohol, it’s pretty normal to feel frustrated and hopeless.
This doesn’t mean that finding God or a higher power is the only way to use meetings and fellowship to gain strength. Sometimes it’s easier in a group setting to really reflect on your reasons to keep fighting your inner demons. Groups can rally behind a common cause, even if different people within the group have different and unique motivations.
Sharing Experiences Can Be Cathartic
Most 12-step programs are free, which means that you can absolutely afford to keep going over the entire course of your life, more than can be said about costly therapy sessions. If given the opportunity to engage in a group of people similar to you to overcome challenges, it can be extremely beneficial emotionally to share what you’re going through with a group of people who likely have felt the same way.
If sharing isn’t your thing, many attendees of meetings find comfort in the ability to listen to others’ experiences and reflect on their own lives. One of the main advantages of meetings after inpatient rehab is that they can serve any purpose you need, as long as you maintain your commitment to be there and be sober.
Different Types of Meetings
With the different choices in group meetings available today, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs. This allows addicts the ability to find a niche and a group who will accept them while offering support in their shared journey of recovery.
Here are some different types of meetings for support during addiction recovery
- 12-Step “Anonymous” Meetings: There are 12-step meetings that aren’t AA or NA, but these are by far the most common, especially for alcoholism.
- Faith-Based Meetings: Groups that use Christian themes in recovery. Commonly, these groups also study the scripture as part of their process.
- Book Meetings: During book meetings, addicts find strength in the passages of various books. Sometimes this crosses over with faith-based groups, as a common book to study in recovery is the Bible.
There are many other outpatient meeting formats, so feel free to find one where you feel comfortable. Here is a short guide detailing how to find different meetings.
Call Us Today
Outpatient addiction treatment can be what you need to recover successfully. At Outpatient Services, we understand your needs, and we commit fully to helping you meet your recovery goals. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call us at (844)211-7944.