Strength in Numbers: How 12 Step Meetings Help You Build the Support Network You Need for Recovery
Addiction, in any form, breeds its own lifestyle complete with its own habits, routines and social network. In much the same way, someone wanting to live a drug-free life must develop the types of habits, routines and social network that supports continued abstinence.
For people in recovery, the importance of developing a healthy support network can mean the difference between ongoing abstinence and repeated relapse episodes. The 12 Step meeting support model embodies this vital component of recovery by providing a built-in support network along the way.
The 12 Step Meeting Approach
The aftereffects of addiction on a person’s thinking and emotions can leave him or her feeling depressed and socially isolated for months or even years after drug use ends. In the absence of a healthy support network, a return to drug use is all but inevitable.
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, the 12 Step meeting approach works to address the recovering addict’s need for social support, understanding, encouragement and guidance.
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How 12 Step Meetings Help You Build a Support Network
Most all people have an innate need for human contact, especially contact with those who share the same goals and interests. Twelve Step meetings meet this need for connection during a time when recovering addicts most need to stay engaged in the recovery process.
Developing Coping Skills
Learning healthy ways to manage day-to-day life lies at the heart of the recovery process. According to the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors Journal, discussions had in 12 Step meetings provide valuable tools for adapting to drug-free living and managing urges to use.
More than anything else, always having someone to call when the urge to use is greatest makes maintaining sobriety “one day at a time” doable.
A strong support network can work wonders for a person’s confidence regardless of the task at hand. With 12 Step groups, having like-minded people to talk to and seek guidance from enables a person to feel confident that he or she can handle whatever life brings.
Learning to Enjoy Life on a Drug-Free Basis
Without drugs or alcohol to turn to, it’s essential for recovering addicts to develop new interests and find new ways of having fun. Twelve step meetings not only provide much needed support and guidance, but also engage in fun activities that provide “clean” forms of entertainment for group members.
Addiction’s effects do a number on a person’s thinking and emotions, leaving those in recovery feeling “abnormal” long after they stop using drugs. As a support network, 12 Step meetings provide a balanced perspective on daily life happenings and ways of managing a drug-free lifestyle.
If you or someone you know are considering attending 12 Step meetings and have more questions, or need help finding a treatment program that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-781-0748 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addictions specialists.