Our nation has seen an increase in the misuse of alcohol and other substances that continues to grow each year. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 14.4 million adults 18 years and older had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year. When it comes to substance abuse, the same survey reported more than 20 million Americans over the age of 12 with a substance use disorder (SUD).
AUD is defined by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) as a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by the inability to stop or control alcohol use despite negative consequences such as social, economic, or health issues.
A SUD is categorized into three subgroups; mild, moderate, and severe. It is defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as compulsive drug seeking despite negative consequences.
If you or someone you love is living with an AUD or SUD, or both, it’s important to seek professional treatment at a reputable addiction treatment center with compassionate and individualized care that is best suited to meet your unique needs and goals. Living with addiction is hard, but there is help and hope. No matter how you feel now, you can live free of addiction and enjoy long-lasting recovery.
Even though the growing numbers can look bleak, each year thousands of people take the first step and seek help for their alcohol or substance issue. And many go on to recover and lead happy, fulfilling, and peaceful lives. You can too.
And while it’s vital to get professional treatment for an AUD or SUD, it’s also essential to be prepared for life out of your treatment center. One of the best ways to maintain long-term sobriety is to become active in the appropriate support groups in your local area. Today, there are numerous options.
With more and more people struggling with AUDs and SUDs an increase in the prevalence and types of recovery support groups has grown too. Not too long ago, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) were the only support group options for those in recovery.
Both AA and NA have helped thousands, maybe millions of people enjoy long-lasting recovery and continue to help more every day. These two twelve-step groups are still the most frequently attended support groups for alcohol and substance misuse recovery. However, there are several more that have developed and quickly grown in attendance and popularity.
Exploring Six Recovery Support Groups
- Twelve-step Programs
As previously mentioned, AA and NA are two of the most popular recovery support groups around. With AA starting in 1935 and NA in 1951, both of these groups have stood the test of time. They are both based on twelve-steps to recovery. The overall premise of AA and NA is that the substance use disorder, whether the substance is alcohol or otherwise, is an illness or disease that can be managed but not controlled. There is a reliance on a Higher Power or God of your understanding in these programs, however, it is not essential to making these support groups helpful in recovery. Some common terms in AA and NA are Higher Power, sponsor, progressive illness, fellowship, service, and more.
- Refuge Recovery
Refuge Recovery has been growing in popularity and is a Buddhist inspired path to recovery. The inspiration for this recovery program are the teachings from 250 years ago of Siddharta Gautama. Practices include meditation, compassion, and wise decision making. The program doesn’t ask the participants to believe in anything but to trust the process and do the work required for recovery.
- Celebrate Recovery
This is also considered a type of twelve-step program which is Christ-centered which is for anyone struggling with not only addiction but also pain of any kind. This group was started in 1991 at a church in Lake Forest, California. Like AA and NA, Celebrate Recovery is now going into prisons, universities, recovery houses, rescue missions and is in 35,000 churches worldwide.
- SMART Recovery
An acronym for Safe Management and Recovery Training, this recovery program is intended for people looking for an alternative to spiritual, religious, or traditional AA programs. This program takes a scientific approach to the twelve steps. This four-point program which teaches self-empowerment offers free support group meetings across the world both in-person and online.
- Women for Sobriety
This nonprofit group of women and for women was founded in 1975 and is based on 13 Acceptance Statements which encourage emotional and spiritual growth on the road to recovery from substance abuse. This group offers both online and in-person meetings as well as private, one on one phone calls and is open to all expressions of female identity.
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety
Founded in 1985, SOS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals achieve and maintain freedom from addiction to substances as well as other addictive things such as food. This group offers both in-person and online meetings.
With millions of people living with alcohol or substance use disorders in the United States alone, it’s important to know that there is help for anyone who truly wants it. The variety of recovery groups means there is something to meet every individual’s needs. The first step is to reach out for help. Although this step can be challenging for many, this most important step leads to a life free of addiction and one of long-lasting recovery, peace, health, and joy.
If you or someone you love has an AUD or SUD, Futures Recovery Healthcare can help. Offering three different types of programs with multiple paths to recovery, the evidence-based, compassionate care provided has already helped so many to recover from addiction. If you’re thinking about taking the first step contact Futures online or call 561-475-1804.