from addict 2 advocate

6 Reasons Why Participating in Support Groups is Beneficial

By: Joni Ogle, LCSW, CSAT

“Allow yourself to be an anchor and anchored by others.” ― Asa Don Brown

Reasons to Attend Support Group

Putting an addiction behind you is often difficult, especially without the right type of support. Although, there are some people who have managed to escape their addiction with very little to no help from others. Unfortunately, it is far more common for those who attempt to go it alone to fail. 

Throughout the process of going from addiction to recovery, there is a range of support available, including therapists or addiction counselors. 
A support group differs from this type of support in that support groups are a form of treatment where a group of people gather to talk about particular topics. Generally the topics include various struggles the participants are dealing with during their recovery. The point of support groups is for members of the group to discuss the ways in which they are handling the situation they are in. One advantage of support groups is that they are typically open to all and membership is free. There is a lot that can be accomplished by simply saying aloud how certain situations make you feel and by knowing that there are others who are feeling the same thing.

What Can You Expect from Support Groups?

Attending support groups can be extremely beneficial in many ways, including:
1. Helping to increase your self-efficacy (the belief that you have the ability to do anything). You are more likely to reach your goal with a higher level of self-efficacy. Observing peers in a support group who have accomplished goals may help to increase your inner belief. For example, seeing others who make a success of their recovery may help to create the idea that if they can do it, so can you.

2. Facing any type of challenge alone can be overwhelming. It takes a great deal of effort to give up an addiction and build a new life while in recovery. Many people find these challenges easier to cope with when they know they aren’t alone.

3. Going from rehab back into the community can be extremely stressful and difficult. Those leaving rehab will face familiar temptations, which often lead to relapse. Attending support groups can help make the transition from rehab to community living go much smoother.

4. Along with temptations, another common trigger for relapse is boredom. Prior to becoming sober, much of the day was contributed to obtaining and using drugs and/or alcohol, which means when you get sober, there will be more free time. Becoming bored may lead someone to believe that living life in recovery is not as satisfying as it was when they were using. Attending a support group means there is something to do, which is extremely important during the early phases of recovery.

5. Being sober typically means saying goodbye to a familiar social network because it is too dangerous for the person to spend time with friends who are still using drugs and/or alcohol. This may lead to feeling loneliness and the need to meet up with old acquaintances. Attending a support group will give you an opportunity to build a new social network, one with those who have similar goals.

6. Many, if not all, support groups have a few members who are more experienced in their recovery. These people can be extremely helpful in providing information about overcoming common obstacles in sobriety. Those who are new to sobriety can benefit from the advice of those who have managed to survive long-term sobriety.

Support from peers in recovery should not be underestimated.
Realizing that you aren’t the only one with a problem, and that there are others going through similar situations, it is much easier to take responsibility for the addiction and open up to embracing recovery.
About Joni Ogle

Joni Ogle, LCSW, CSAT will lead Transcend Texas as its Executive Director. Joni brings over 25 years of clinical experience, management, and leadership in working with adults and young adults suffering with addiction and trauma. 


She is a licensed clinical social worker and a certified sex addiction therapist with additional training in Recreational Therapy, Pia Mellody’s Post Induction Therapy, and Dr. Brene Brown’s The Daring Way Shame Resilience curriculum.

Tagline: Writing and Recovery Heal the Heart

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