By: Marilyn L. Davis
We’ll Meet at the Meeting
Mutual aid and recovery support meetings and groups have been around since 1944, continuing to grow in numbers, types, philosophies, and orientation. While there are multiple types of recovery support meetings available to people today, there are still basic components in all. Meetings offer an environment where people can discuss issues that are bothering them, their accomplishments, ongoing concerns, and find support.
With group members ranging from a few days in recovery to decades, there will be people with similar feelings, thoughts and issues, as well as those who have coped with the situations and willingly share their experiences.
Inherent in all self-help and mutual aid groups is the commonality of a problem, issue or experience, combined with collective solutions, answers and directions for healing.
Regardless of the underlying principles, the inspiration behind, or basis for the meetings, there is a tremendous amount of positive peer support and validation in recovery support meetings.
Famous and Not So Famous People’s Ideas about Meetings
The empathetic and compassionate nature of these groups can help an individual learn to process problems; find solutions that will help them meet, and sustain long-term recovery. With the various types of recovery support meeting available, you no longer have to settle for one that does not meet your needs, philosophy or orientation. Celebrities are coming forward as recovering people and talking about the opportunities for healing found in recovery support meetings.
“. . . these weekly meetings are a valuable opportunity for users to meet with fellow peers in recovery, and to build up their own “social capital” and support network within the recovery community.” William Cope Moyers
“I work with The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. I sit proudly as one of only two recovering addicts on their board.” – Jamie Lee Curtis
“No one is immune from addiction; it afflicts people of all ages, races, classes, and professions.” – Patrick J. Kennedy
“There are support fellowships that are easy to find and open to anyone who needs them but they eschew promotion of any kind to keep the purity of their purpose, which is for people with alcoholism and addiction to help one another stay clean and sober. Without these fellowships, I would take drugs.”- Russell Brand
Building Your Support Network: One Meeting at a Time
All people, rich and poor, famous and infamous, male, female, young and old or simply trying to make it today without using can benefit from recovery support meetings. One of the fundamental aspects of successful long-term recovery is to make sure that you have supportive people in your life, besides family and friends. Look around and find a supportive group that you can join in your home-town. Get comfortable there, and then branch out.
Go to other meetings until you find one that feels like “home.” If you want supportive people in your life; who share your values and beliefs, it is necessary to explore all of your options for meetings.
Options in Recovery: Support from Like-Minded People
- Conforms to your values
- Meets your needs
- Has people willing to support your values, needs, and goals
12 Step Based Meetings
Many people are familiar with the “Anonymous” meetings – AA, NA, CA, Alanon, or one of the over 200 Anonymous meetings, based on the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, developed 65 years ago on the premise that one suffering alcoholic could best help another.
Faith or Religious Based Meetings
Christian Based Recovery Meetings
Addictions Victorious: Addictions Victorious is a network of Christ-centered support and recovery groups. Meetings are open to men and women of all ages who are seeking lasting change in their lives
Alcoholics for Christ: AC is a Christian fellowship that ministers to Alcoholics or Substance abusers, family members, and people raised in dysfunctional families.
Celebrate Recovery: The purposes of the Celebrate Recovery ministry are to fellowship and celebrate God’s healing power in member’s lives through the “8 Recovery Principles.”
Buddhist Recovery Network:
Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons, and Significant Others:
A mutual-help group for Jews in recovery from alcohol and other chemical abuse that helps recovering Jews and their families connect, explore their Jewish roots and discover helpful resource
Islamic Recovery Support:
An Islamic fellowship of men and women supporting recovery from alcohol and drug addictions
Catholic Recovery Meetings:
National Catholic Council on Alcoholism and Related Drug Problems (NCCA): A body affiliated with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that promotes greater awareness and acceptance of alcoholism and other chemical addictions, and prevention issues.
Secular Recovery Support Groups
A movement focused on recovery from addiction without a focus on the spiritual or religious aspects found in both 12-Step and Faith-based recovery. Many of these groups are found in larger cities for an in-person meeting, or most have information available on-line.
SMART Recovery®: An abstinence-based, organization that uses “common sense self-help rules” designed to empower participants to abstain and to develop a more positive lifestyle.
Rational Recovery: An abstinence-based recovery approach that claims it is the “antithesis and irreconcilable arch-rival of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Moderation Management: This is a recovery program founded by Audrey Kishline; a national support network for people who want to reduce their drinking and make other positive lifestyle changes
Women For Sobriety (WFS), is an organization and self-help program for women alcoholics, founded in 1976 by Jean Kirkpatrick
24/7 Help Yourself: a unique website developed from years of research on managing addictive behavior and behavioral change to offer guidance and support
Self-Help Group Locator provides information (searchable by zip code) about non12-Step self-help group meetings, including Moderation Management, SMART Recovery, Recovery, Inc., SOS (secular organization for sobriety), WFS (woman for sobriety), and Life Ring
Learn How to Start a Meeting: Giving and Receiving Support
- You know you will have the type of meeting you prefer.
- It is a good way to give back to other people.
- It will also give you support.
- Groups help provide encouragement to all members.
- Groups give us a social network for activities that don’t include using.
Did I Miss a Meeting
If there are other meetings that you think would be helpful to people, please let me know in a comment and I’ll add to this post. Thanks.
Writing, and recovery heals the heart