Building a Support Network The Importance of Community in Addiction Recovery
2nd July 2024

Building a Support Network: The Importance of Community in Addiction Recovery

Recovery from addiction is a challenging and deeply personal experience. It is a process that requires strength, resilience, and unwavering support from those around you. While the road to recovery can feel lonely, it does not have to be travelled alone. Building a strong support network after a stay in residential treatment can make a significant difference in sustaining long-term sobriety and improving overall well-being.

 

Why community matters

Having a supportive community in recovery offers several key benefits:

  • Shared experiences: Being surrounded by individuals who understand your struggles can provide comfort and reduce feelings of isolation.
  • Accountability: Support networks help keep you accountable, ensuring you stay committed to your recovery goals.
  • Encouragement: Positive reinforcement and encouragement from your community can boost your confidence and motivation.
  • Resource sharing: Access to information, resources, and different perspectives can enhance your recovery strategy.

 

Building a strong support system

Creating a robust support network involves connecting with people, groups, and resources that can offer assistance and encouragement. Here are steps to help you build a strong support system:

 

1. Identify your needs

Understand what kind of support you need. This could range from emotional support to practical assistance, such as helping with daily responsibilities or attending therapy sessions.

2. Reach out to family and friends

Inform your close family and friends about your recovery goals and invite them to be part of your support network. Open communication is key.

3. 12 Step Fellowships

Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and Gamblers Anonymous (GA), provide a safe space to share experiences, get support for any challenges being faced and gain insights from others who are also on the path to recovery. You can search for meetings in your area on the individual fellowships’ website. Group meetings are held regularly, where you can meet others who understand and can give and receive support. As a 12 Step addiction treatment centre, we advise all clients to regularly attend fellowship meetings to help them to stay on track with their recovery and to continue making positive behaviour changes.

4. Find a sponsor

A sponsor can provide guidance, share their own recovery experiences and offer advice during challenging times.

5. Dry house accommodation

Depending on your plans and life circumstances, some clients who stay with us for addiction treatment move into a dry house, aka ‘third stage accommodation’, after they leave Broadway Lodge. Living in a dry house for a period of time (1 – 2 years on average), enables people new into their recovery to have a stepping stone to continue to focus on their recovery journey. Many dry house providers offer support which may be in the form of a group therapy session once a week for example. Living in dry house accommodation means you will be meeting others and living with people at a similar stage who can all offer support to one another. Payment is usually covered by housing benefit and some providers ask for an extra weekly top-up.

6. Engage in community activities

Participating in community events and activities to explore new or existing hobbies and passions can help you build new relationships and find additional support networks outside of traditional recovery settings.

7. Drug and alcohol services

Your local drug and alcohol service, such as CGL (Change Grow Live), Turning Point and With You, may offer support in the early stages of your recovery journey.

8. Addiction treatment centre

If you stay at a residential treatment centre for addiction, such as Broadway Lodge, they may offer aftercare following your stay to help you to stay on track with your recovery and to continue getting support to navigate life, challenges and emotions. At Broadway Lodge, weekly online aftercare, a 3-hour group therapy session, is held online for anybody who has ever stayed with us regardless of how long ago. In-person aftercare is held weekly too and is also available to eligible people living in North Somerset who are in early recovery.

9. Online communities for recovery in the UK

In today’s digital age, online communities are becoming increasingly important in providing peer support for people in recovery and there are various apps and forums available.

 

Building a strong support network is vital for successful addiction recovery. Whether through family, friends, local support groups, or online communities, having people who understand, encourage and support your journey can make all the difference. Explore the various resources available and take the first step towards building a network that will help you achieve and maintain sobriety.

Find out more about the support we offer after rehab to help you maintain your recovery or contact us for further support.