According to AAMC News, 21 million Americans suffer from addiction. However, there are only 3,000 physicians with special training to treat addiction.
These figures differ significantly; there are many thousands more people struggling with addiction than there are physicians. That’s why people cannot rely on physicians to cure their addictions.
Instead, people need a support system to assist them in their substance abuse recovery. A robust support system plays a critical role in recovering from addiction.
There are several reasons why a sober living facility must provide support systems. We’ll explore the many benefits of having support in this guide!
What Are Support Systems in Substance Abuse Recovery?
Experts generally regard support systems as a group of people that provide encouragement during the recovery process. This encouragement can include many things, including:
- social reinforcement
- emotional reinforcement
- physically helping someone with a task
- providing monetary support
The goal behind the support is to provide guidance when the recovery process becomes challenging. These are usually loved ones like friends and family members who remain constant in your life.
Support systems help you ensure you avoid risk in your recovery. These are sober people who help you identify your stress, triggers, and habits that could threaten your sobriety.
Positive Peer Pressure in Addiction Recovery
Sober support systems can provide positive peer pressure to counteract your drug habits. Peer pressure can often play a role in substance abuse. For example, a 2018 study found that college students that believed excessive drinking was normal for their peers were more likely to drink heavily.
Some people have entire social circles based on drinking or drug use. Over time, that usage transforms into substance abuse. This abuse is often the first step to addiction.
Peer pressure can come in several forms. One softer form of peer pressure includes normalizing drug abuse. When all of your friends abuse the same substance, it makes you feel justified in doing so.
Support systems reverse this peer pressure. They provide a social group where drug abuse is not the norm. Instead, sobriety remains the status quo in this group.
This peer pressure can help correct your mindset and orient it toward sobriety. In this way, a support system can help you replicate the mindset found in a sober living facility.
Support Groups Can Uplift Those in Recovery
Sobriety is a much better way of life than substance abuse. However, the journey to sobriety comes with many pitfalls and struggles. Some of these may manifest emotionally, while others come from exterior sources.
Regardless of the source, these challenges can tempt recovering addicts back into old habits. This temptation becomes especially strong when you perceive yourself as being alone.
Your support system should ensure you never believe yourself to be alone. They should ensure you understand that you have loved ones who care about you and want to help you make this change.
In other words, they serve as people who can listen to your problems and offer support. Sometimes, that may be emotional support. Other times, it could be by offering you resources or a place to stay.
Also, never underestimate the importance of a group of people that will listen to you. Have you ever left a therapy session or a confession and felt an immense sense of relief? If so, it’s often because you’ve spent time venting your worst thoughts and mistakes to somebody.
This feeling is cathartic in the best ways. It can help you feel a sense of liberation from negative emotions and the experiences that prompt them. Expressing yourself in these ways can also forge new connections or prompt breakthroughs.
If your support group does nothing else for you, they should at least listen to your struggles. Having somebody that will hear you talk about your struggles can go a long way to overcoming them.
Live a Healthier Life
Addiction recovery isn’t just a fight to overcome damaging habits. It’s also a struggle to form new habits that lead to a healthier lifestyle.
For example, maybe you struggle with alcohol. Instead of drinking alcohol to withstand stress, you can discover healthier alternatives to help you destress. For example, you may find that green tea helps you unwind in a healthier way than alcohol.
Alternatively, you may take up new hobbies to fill your time. Many people find that going to the gym or taking hikes can fill the void left by substances. Exercise can help you release many of the same endorphins and chemicals in your brain that drugs release.
The difference is, exercise does so in a natural and healthier way. Your support system will help you find ways to create these new habits. Ideally, they’ll also provide accountability to ensure you maintain these disciplines.
One common method for this is finding somebody to work out with. This way, you have somebody who will encourage you to go to the gym even if you don’t want to that day.
Building or Rebuilding Your Social Network
Many people find that substance abuse alienates them from their family and friends. Increasingly, their social network becomes filled with other people who abuse the same substance.
Your support system can help you rebuild your social network with healthier relationships. As you move towards recovery, you can begin trying to repair your relationships with loved ones. Ideally, they’ll accept your efforts to improve yourself and assist in your recovery.
However, there are other ways to build your support group. One way is to attend 12-step programs where you can meet others in recovery. These new relationships can support you throughout your struggles toward sobriety.
Start Building Your Support System
The journey to substance abuse recovery can be a long and difficult road. However, building a support system can significantly improve the journey.
This road usually starts with finding a facility for sober living near me. To that end, consider contacting us!
We provide top-grade therapy and recovery resources for many patients. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can assist you.