Today there are approximately 23 million adults in recovery from addiction in the United States. For anyone of these individuals, there could be something that goes awry in recovery. Perhaps their sponsor relapses or their family moves away or perhaps they go through a challenging heartbreak. These are situations that could threaten a person’s sobriety and make them vulnerable to relapse. Yet, when a person has a strong support system – family, friends, and professionals on their side – then the likelihood of relapse is small compared to having no support at all.
The Importance of Staying Strong in Recovery
When a person has others to go to when feeling distressed or tense and they feel supported, they are less likely to fall into the declining cycle of relapse. For instance, when a person has support around them, such as attending a 12-step meeting on a regular basis, that person gives them an opportunity to hear the stories of others, relate to their challenges and successes, and experience hope. Through support, a person may find validation for the reasons why they’ve had a difficult life thus far. A network of friends and family also significantly boosts a person’s feeling of being supported and in turn, enhances their ability to face stress. Rather than turning to drugs or drinking when life gets challenging, they can turn to the relationships in their lives.
Even if a person appears to have no one in their life, one way to gather a community quickly is by attending an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting. The AA community is a group of people, all working towards sobriety. Along these lines, a person can attend a support group, which would also provide feelings of community, acceptance, and support. Individuals to include in your support system:
- Family members
- Friends/acquaintances from 12-step meetings
- Friends/acquaintances from support groups
- Case manager
- Drug counselor
- Spouse/significant other
If you’re in recovery and you’d like to start working on building and strengthening a strong network of support, here are some tips to do that:
Ways to Build and Maintain a Strong Support System
Recovery requires individuals to stay open to relationships from a variety of people. For instance, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone you don’t know at an AA meeting or in your support group. Regularly do things you love that involve other people. Explore the online sober communities for new connections there.
Another way to build up a support system is by moving into a sober living home. Here at Westwind Recovery, we offer several options such as:
Also, work to stay in touch with old friends whose friendships may be supportive. Consider joining groups that your friends and family enjoy and participate with them. Continue to be a good friend, family member, or co-worker so that you don’t break trust or lose friendships you already have. These are suggestions for building and strengthening a network of support. Doing so can keep your recovery strong and keep relapse at bay.
How Westwind Recovery Can Help
Whether it’s in an inpatient residential program or an outpatient program, individuals struggling with substance abuse can find the help they need at Westwind Recovery. Once they have completed treatment, we make it a point to help individuals transition back to everyday life through our sober living homes. Also, we offer several therapeutic services to support individuals, such as:
- Adventure Therapy Program
- Art Therapy
- Family Therapy Program
- Life Skills Training Program
- Music Therapy Program
So reach out to us today at 855.340.8832 and explore what we have to offer. You’ll find yourself on the road to recovery soon enough.