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The road to addiction recovery

When people decide to get treatment for drug and/or alcohol addiction or process addictions, their decision to get help will be a very humbling experience. Admitting the need for help can be very difficult and scary, especially when having to let go of fears of being judged or ostracized. For this same reason, it is very difficult for the addict or alcoholic to build new relationships when the fear of financial insecurity, the future or anything that could possibly harm them gets in the way. Once fear is replaced with willingness and addicts allow something else to guide them instead of their addiction, positive changes can occur. Many times, the fear of letting go of previous world-views, thoughts or perceptions they were once attached to can keep addicts or alcoholics from getting the help they need. An open mind and a willing heart can completely transform anybody, especially an addict or alcoholic.

It’s important to keep an open mind when attempting to search for the right community of individuals to help an addict or alcoholic stay clean and sober because there are many different approaches that can be very successful depending on the person seeking help. The term “treatment” can refer to a variety of options. Specifically in regards to drug and alcohol and/or process addictions, treatment usually encompasses a minimum of 30 days at an inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol treatment center. Many treatment centers will suggest other outside sources for support in staying sober.

One of these resources is recovery support groups. Outside recovery support resources include 12-step groups such as AA and NA or even support groups for family and friends of a person dealing with addiction.

One of the more popular approaches for outside support on the road to recovery is Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron, Ohio in 1935 and has been a great source of recovery and support for many alcoholics, problem drinkers and addicts. There are other 12-step groups that have the same 12-step foundation, but for other addictions besides alcohol. Some other outside support groups for more specific issues can include:

  • CA – Cocaine Anonymous
  • CMA – Crystal Meth Anonymous
  • COSLAA – CoSex and Love Addicts Anonymous
  • DA – Debtors Anonymous
  • EA – Emotions Anonymous, for recovery from mental and emotional illness
  • FAA – Food Addicts Anonymous
  • GA – Gamblers Anonymous
  • HA – Heroin Anonymous
  • MA – Marijuana Anonymous
  • NicA – Nicotine Anonymous
  • PA – Pills Anonymous, for recovery from prescription pill addiction
  • SA – Sexaholics Anonymous

Family support

The road to recovery is hard on both the addict and their family members. Family and friends may want to seek help through a group such as Al-Anon. Al-Anon Family Groups was started in 1951 by Betty Wilson. Al-Anon is based on the same 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous but it is for friends and families of alcoholics and addicts. Various mental disorders stem from growing up in dysfunctional homes that endured the struggle of alcoholism or drug addiction. Other family members and friends of alcoholics can also become just as affected by the individual abusing drugs or alcohol. At times, such concern over the alcoholic or addict becomes an obsession for power over the situation or causes them to value their self-worth based on how well the addict is doing. This is an issue called co-dependency which can be helped or avoided through support groups such as Al-Anon. Al-Anon teaches the same principles of acceptance of living life sober, as well as trying not to allow the addict’s drinking or behavior control their lives. Some other support group for family and friends of addicts and alcoholics include:

  • ACA: Adult Children of Alcoholics
  • Al Anon/Alateen: for friends and families of alcoholics
  • Gam-Anon/Gam-A-Teen: for friends and family members of problem gamblers
  • CoDA – Co-Dependents Anonymous: for people working to end patterns of dysfunctional relationships and develop functional and healthy relationships
  • COSA: for former codependents of sex addicts
  • Co-Anon: for friends and family of addicts
  • FA: Families Anonymous, for relatives and friends of addicts
  • Nar-Anon: for friends and family members of addicts

Group effort

Recovering from addictions to drugs, alcohol or other addictions is often much more effective in a group setting. When a person decides to go to rehab, a treatment center or simply start taking the first steps towards recovery, he or she can benefit greatly from the support of other individuals in recovery. The transition from using to being clean and sober is a very trying road that can be made easier when one knows they are not alone. Treatment programs, rehabs, group therapy and 12-step groups can call help the recovering addict by not only giving them the help they need but also allowing them to meet other people trying to recover as well. This allows the individual in recovery to form a sober support group and take advantage of the social aspect of staying sober which can make a world of difference.

Sober living homes

Sometimes the transition from a treatment facility back into daily life can be a struggle for the recovering individual. Thankfully sober living homes are available to ease this change. A sober living home provides a safe haven for people to live in an home with clean and sober people around them at all times, along with the continued requirement to remain clean and sober. Sober living homes will usually have some sort of monitored sobriety program that enforces clean urine analysis tests in order to continue living at the house, further allowing addicted individuals to get accustomed to their new lifestyle post recovery, one day at a time.

To find out more about recovery from addiction or to find out how you can start your recovery today, call the Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Helpline at 855-441-4405 for more information.

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