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Benefits of Support Groups for Addiction Recovery

Smiling women in support group with others recovering from addiction

Addiction is a chronic disease, and those recovering from it are extremely vulnerable. 

If you or a loved one is recovering from addiction, you should know that there are many resources available so you can find the help you need

Participating in an addiction recovery program or a support group can offer many benefits. A support group can help you through recovery by offering social support, helping you develop coping skills, helping you build sober relationships, increasing your motivation, and much more!

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of support groups and recovery programs, what to expect during meetings, and how to find the right group for your needs. 

Addiction Defined

An addiction is a chronic illness where your body craves a substance or behaviour to a compulsive or obsessive point. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing addiction, you will likely notice some or all of the following behaviours: 

  • Be unable stay away from the substance or stop the addictive behaviour
  • Display a lack of self-control
  • Have an increased desire for the substance or behaviour
  • Dismiss how their behaviour may be causing problems
  • Lack an emotional response
  • Display little regard to consequences 

Some addictions may not seem serious at first glance, but over time, addictions can seriously impact your daily life, and the life of those around you. Addiction tends to get worse over time, and eventually it can lead to permanent health complications and serious consequences.

If you or someone you know is experiencing addiction and you need help, please contact us at the Calgary Dream Centre. We can help you get the treatment you need, or connect you with resources to support you. 

What is an Addiction Support Group? 

An addiction support group is a type of organised group meeting that provides people with addictions a variety of support, education, and advocacy resources. Addiction support groups can serve many types of addictions including drug support groups, alcohol support groups, or behavioural support groups for addictions like gambling. 

Each group offers a safe space for addicts to talk about their personal experiences with addiction, learn coping techniques, and connect with others who are facing similar challenges.

What Happens During a Support Group Meeting? 

Most addiction support groups follow the same format at each meeting, following the general model of an alcoholics anonymous meeting. 

In most meetings, a member will share their addiction story, and then other members share their response, offer advice, or offer emotional support. And the process repeats until everyone who wants to share, has. 

Preparing for Your First Meeting

If it’s your first time going to a support group for addiction recovery, you might be a little anxious or nervous. 

If you’re experiencing any negative feelings about going, you might find it helpful to ask a family member or a friend to come to the meeting with you. You can also reach out to our team at The Calgary Dream Centre if you have any questions about how you can get ready for your first meeting. 

Things to Remember

Support groups are available for anyone who needs it, as long as they’re making an effort to live a sober life. These groups are a safe space, intended to bring people together to help, support, and uplift each other.

When you begin attending support groups, there are a few things you should keep in mind: 

  • Always respect the confidentiality and privacy of other members of the group.
  • Don’t feel like you have to participate. Take your time as much or as little as you’d like. 
  • Feel free to try out several groups before deciding on which one you like best. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

The Benefits of Addiction Support Groups

There are many benefits of support groups for addiction recovery. Here are some of the ways meetings can be helpful through every step of the recovering addict’s journey.

  • Support groups remind you that you are not alone
  • Support groups provide a safe space for sharing
  • Meetings provide compassion, emotional support, and inspiration 
  • Support groups help you maintain momentum
  • Meetings foster self-acceptance
  • Support groups can teach you new coping skills
  • Meetings can put things in perspective
  • You are reminded of the consequences of substance abuse
  • Support groups create sober friendships
  • Addiction support groups help prevent relapse
support group hugging one another and supporting each other

How to Find the Right Group for You

You can find a number of support groups online, but often the best place to start is by talking to your doctor or a mental health professional. They have access to resources and information that may not be available online and can help support you through the decision making process. 

If you have any questions, our team at Calgary Dream Centre is here to help you! Addiction recovery can be complex and overwhelming, but together we can take the steps towards a better life. 

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  • Written by Jim Moore

    CEO/Executive Director, Jim Moore is a founding member of the Calgary Dream Centre. His passion and drive to see lives changed has guided the organization to where it is today. Jim entered the non-profit world after many years of leadership in business, banking, real-estate, and church ministry. During that time he served on a number of boards and his career moved him across Canada from Vancouver to Toronto, and back to Calgary, where he helped found the Calgary Dream Centre. He was president of the Calgary Real Estate Board CREB, and past president of Canada Trust Real Estate Division Canada.

    More Articles by Jim Moore

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