For most people in recovery from substance abuse and/or related disorders, having a support system in place is vital to their continued well being. Many attend meetings to be able to share their experiences with others and have some connection and accountability.
Here are some of the support groups available today that have meetings for those in recovery:
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous covers in depth the 12 steps of the program that millions of people around the world have used to remain sober throughout the past several decades. From this, there have been many offshoot 12 step meetings, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Heroin Anonymous (HA), and many others. There are also Al-Anon meetings, which are support group for the friends and family members of those who are in recovery. Visit AA.org for more information.
SMART Recovery – SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. It uses a cognitive-behavioral (thinking/doing) psychotherapy called REBT which stands for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. It is guided by their 4-Point Program to 1) Enhance and Maintain Motivation to Abstain, 2) Cope with Urges, 3) Problem Solve (manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors), and 4) Achieve a Balanced Lifestyle. Visit SMARTRecovery.org for more information.
Refuge Recovery – Refuge is a Buddhist inspired path to recovery from addiction that is open to anyone. It includes an acceptance of their version of the Four Noble Truths, which say: 1) Addiction causes suffering; 2) The cause of addiction is repetitive craving; 3) Recovery is possible; and 4) The path to recovery is available – which refers to the Eightfold path of Buddhist principles. Go to RefugeRecovery.org
Centered Recovery – Centered is a mindfulness based alternative to 12 step meetings that encompasses a variety of disciplines that share universal truths. The meetings have 6 primary sections – 1) Cleanse the palette (emptying of the mind to prepare for meaningful discussion); 2) Introduction to dialogue – reading of the group guidelines for listening and participation; 3) Silent reflection – stillness in preparation for exploring beyond the “content” of thinking; 4) Solution-focused sharing – The bulk of the discussion time, absent of war stories or grand-standing, based on several suggested topics to choose from; 5) Verbal moment of gratitude – to notice things that are typically taken for granted in life and show appreciation; and 6) Metta & close – expression of lovingkindness and wellbeing for selves and others. Visit CenteredRecovery.org for more information.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) – These groups are not affiliated with any outside group, religion or agenda. They are for people seeking sobriety through abstinence and sharing any and all methods that have helped people in their recovery from substance abuse and related problems. Find out more by visiting SOSsobriety.org.