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Types of Support Groups in Addiction Recovery

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Individuals recovering from addiction require an array of various coping mechanisms and support systems. One of the best forms of support a recovering addict or alcoholic can utilize is support groups. To explain, taking advantage of support groups in recovery will highly benefit individuals transitioning back into their lives after treatment. Also, these groups help individuals in all stages of recovery by providing the support and guidance needed to maintain sobriety.

Why Should I Attend a Support Group After Treatment?

Attending a support group after completing addiction treatment in North Carolina is, arguably, essential to long-term sobriety. To put it simply, these groups exist to provide recovering addicts and alcoholics with the information, support, and assistance they need to maintain physical, emotional, and mental health. Support groups are believed to be a major component of the addiction recovery process. So much so, that the Substance Use & Misuse Journal discussed the importance of such groups, stating that these groups play a major part in an individual’s recovery.

The benefits of addiction and alcoholism support groups in recovery include:

  • Connecting with others who have experienced similar issues as yourself
  • Receiving compassion and support
  • Helping you maintain momentum and dedication to your recovery
  • Allowing you to accept your past and move on to a brighter future
  • Learning new coping mechanisms and skills
  • Being reminded of the consequences of addiction by listening to other people’s stories

Types of Support Groups Available in Recovery

After completing an addiction or alcoholism treatment program, you may be wondering how to get the same form of compassionate support that the treatment environment provides. Fortunately, there are plenty of local support groups available to individuals recovering from any form of substance abuse or addiction in North Carolina. Many individuals in recovery attend one or more support groups throughout their lives to prevent relapse and build upon their sobriety.

Also, there are both spiritually-based and secular programs to choose from. Many support groups offer both closed and open meetings. To explain, closed meetings are only accessible to individuals who desire to stop using substances. On the other hand, open meetings, as suggested by the name, allow anyone to attend. This means your friends, family, and loved ones can accompany you during the meeting.

12-Step Programs

Twelve-step programs are widely accepted as the most popular form of support group programs. To explain, twelve-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), are based upon a series of 12 steps created to help individuals advance in their emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Each twelve-step program is founded on the original principles that were established by Alcoholics Anonymous:

  • Participants must assume responsibility for their recovery.
  • Individuals attending meetings rely on support from a higher power of their choosing.
  • Participants attend group meetings where they share their personal experiences to give others strength and hope.
  • Each member is encouraged to work the 12 steps. A sponsor who has already completed the steps will guide them through the 12 steps.
  • Recovering addicts provide service to the community and help newcomers who are seeking treatment. This helps them to find purpose and gratitude in their lives.
  • Participation is free, and 12-step groups are committed to remaining non-profit.

Twelve-step programs are available across the world and participation is free. While many people find great success through attending twelve-step support groups in recovery, some individuals dislike the focus on alcoholism as a physical and spiritual disease. Fortunately, there are other options for individuals who do not agree with the principles of twelve-step programs.

SMART Recovery

SMART recovery is a common alternative for individuals who do not enjoy twelve-step programs. This form of support group operates on a 4-point program that can help with the recovery from any form of addiction, including behavioral addictions such as gambling. SMART recovery meetings are available worldwide, either face-to-face or online.

Unlike twelve-step programs, SMART recovery states that chemical dependency or addiction is a learned behavior that can be modified through four basic cognitive ideals or points:

  1. Individuals learn to build and maintain personal motivation in sobriety
  2. Learning how to cope with urges to seek or use substances
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors that contribute to dependence or addiction
  4. Learning how to lead a balanced life without the use of substances

To explain further, SMART recovery is a self-empowering support group intended to help participants recover from any form of addiction they may be dealing with. Fortunately, SMART recovery is a free program with many resources available online.

Secular Organization for Sobriety/Save Our Selves (SOS)

SOS is a secular alternative for individuals recovering from addiction who want to separate themselves from spiritual or religious recovery methods. Unlike other forms of support groups, SOS believes that recovery from addiction is the individual’s responsibility, rather than placing full trust and belief in a higher power. Also, SOS believes that recovery should be the top priority of an individual’s life.

Additional priorities of Secular Organization for Sobriety include:

  • Participants must communicate feelings, experience, and knowledge clearly and honestly.
  • People attending SOS should choose non-destructive, rational approaches to leading sober and healthy lives.
  • Participants must maintain the anonymity of members to keep the privacy of other members safe.
  • People attending SOS must remain open to different theories concerning the nature of addiction.

SOS meetings are autonomous in nature. In other words, these meetings do not follow specific guidelines or standardized formats. Attendance to this support group is free and meetings are available in every state and several countries around the world.

Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

If you or a loved one are in need of treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, look no further. Carolina Recovery Center can help you or your loved one to begin the lifelong journey of sobriety by connecting you with local recovery resources that will meet your needs.

“Carolina Center for Recovery is a state-licensed and CARF (Commission on accreditation of rehabilitation facilities) accredited substance abuse treatment facility.  We are a dual-diagnosis facility with a primary focus on substance abuse.”

Contact us today for more information on drug and alcohol treatment in North Carolina.