The Benefits of Attending Mutual-help Groups
Mutual-help groups, as stated by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, are “groups of two or more people who share a problem and come together to provide problem-specific help and support to one another.” These programs can be incredibly beneficial to recovering addicts as part of an overall treatment plan, and studies have shown they can be very effective in minimizing relapse rates and strengthening recovery.
Increased Social Support
A strong social support system can mean everything to a recovering addict, and mutual-help groups often help increase these types of interactions for members. Having a wider circle of individuals to go to when you need to talk about your addiction or ask for support can help reduce your risk of relapse, and it can also be incredibly beneficial to know that there are people in your life who are going through the same problems you are. Mutual-help groups add to the kind of social support created by family and friends to give recovering addicts the comfort, love, hope, and friendship they need most at this time. And, according to the NIAAA, “Studies show that people involved in mutual-help groups had more friend support resources than those in outpatient programs.”
Free of Cost
Unlike many other types of treatment, mutual-help groups are almost always free. There is no charge to attend meetings, and often, the literature is free as well. This can be incredibly beneficial for people who cannot afford multiple, costly treatment options or who do not have an effective insurance plan.
In addition, as stated by the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, “Mutual aid support groups are not only cost-effective resources; they have also been shown to improve post treatment client success rates.” This is an especially beneficial effect for those who have ended their first treatment regimen successfully and who cannot afford to pay for further aftercare treatment.
Flexibility of the Program
Mutual-help groups are also some of the most flexible treatment programs available. Patients at inpatient and outpatient facilities can often attend meetings, as can members of the community who are not attending further treatment for addiction. These programs also offer meetings many times during the evening and on weekends so those who work plan to attend around their regular schedule.
Members of mutual-help groups can continue going to meetings for as long as they wish, even stopping for a period of time if it suits them and then returning. The flexibility of these programs is extremely helpful to those who may not be sure what they need in regards to treatment, but one of the most important benefits is that these programs are very available and responsive: almost always, there will be a meeting scheduled either locally or online every day so you can get the help you need when you need it.
Do You Want to Attend a Mutual-Help Group?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, mutual-help groups “can complement and extend the effects of professional drug addiction treatment.” If you are interested in attending a meeting or becoming a member of one of these groups, call 888-905-9004 today, and we can help you find programs in your area.