Are you looking for an addiction recovery group? Do you need support through your addiction recovery process? Are you an addict? Do you know someone who can benefit from an addiction recovery group? Do you want to beat addiction? Do you want to understand more about addiction smart recovery? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is for you.
Hi. My name is Sean Galla. I am a facilitator of support groups and support forums for men, including addiction recovery groups, with over 10 years of experience. My work involves providing safe spaces for men to talk about men’s issues, including addiction. In my line of work, I have seen firsthand how important being part of a support group is, especially for men living with addiction.
A support group is a fantastic place for anyone to get the support, information, and help they need to understand addiction and overcome it. This article gives you all the information you need about addiction and joining an addiction recovery group. I will tell you why a support group is highly recommended for anyone interested in overcoming addiction.
Table of Contents:
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing Substance use disorder that causes brain changes characterized by a dependence on a behavior or drugs, affecting their wellness. A person living with SUD like alcohol addiction or drug addiction is often compelled to pursue the harmful habit despite the negative consequences.
People living with addiction exhibit signs of distorted behavior and thinking. This is caused by brain function and structure changes, causing them to experience intense cravings for the substance in use.
Addiction is developed through tolerance. What mostly starts as a fun activity slowly leads to frequent use.
Addiction often occurs in stages. How the brain and body react at the onset of addiction changes as one moves through the stages.
The four stages of addiction are:
- experimentation: one uses or engages in drugs out of curiosity
- social or regular: one starts using or engaging in social settings as part of having fun
- problem or risk: one uses or engages in drug use in extreme ways with disregard for consequences
- dependency: one uses or engages in the addictive behavior on a daily basis, or several times a day, despite the negative consequences
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Signs and symptoms of addiction
According to the American Psychiatric Association, for one to be diagnosed with addiction, they need to exhibit a maladaptive pattern of drug use that causes significant problems to their behavioral health or stress. This maladaptive pattern can manifest through at least two of the signs or symptoms below in one year.
- Recurrent drug use despite it significantly results in problems. For instance, consistently using drugs even when proved to be physically dangerous causes repeated legal issues or social or relationship issues.
- The inability of the sufferer to meet significant responsibilities at home, work, or school
- Increased tolerance to the drug, characterized by either a decreased effect of the drug or a significant increase in the amount used to experience high or desired effects
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using, or the need to take that drug or anything chemically close to the drug as a way of avoiding symptoms of withdrawal.
- Larger amounts of the drug are taken for longer than intended.
- A persistent urge to take the drug and inability to decrease or control the drug use
- Spending excessive time getting, using, or recovering from the effects of the drug
- Lack of will to engage in important recreational, social, school, or work activities due to substance use
- Negative decision-making due to impaired cognitive-behavioral activities. The person continues to use the drug despite suffering from ongoing or recurring psychological or physical issues caused or worsened by drug use.
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What Is an Addiction Recovery Group?
An addiction recovery Group is an informal support group created for people struggling with substance use disorders (SUD), alcohol use disorders (AUD), and co-occurring mental health disorders caused by drug use.
By 2018, there were at least 20.3 million Americans living with substance use disorder (SUD) related to either alcohol use or drug use. According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), while chronic, SUD is treatable.
An addiction recovery group employs effective recovery program intervention procedures that address the individual needs of every member while encouraging them to seek professional help where they can get access to behavioral therapy, self-management support, medication, empowerment, and long-term follow-up to prevent the possibility of a relapse.
Most addiction treatment programs encourage patients to join addiction recovery support groups during their course of treatment and even after ad part of their recovery and sobriety process. These community-based programs are valuable resources for information and support required during inpatient treatment and outpatient addiction and substance abuse treatment.
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Treatment options for addiction and getting support
If you live a life of addiction, the good news is that all types of addiction, including behavioral addiction and drug abuse, can be treated. According to the department of health and human services and the U.S. Department of health, the best treatment approaches and healthcare are comprehensive, aiming to address and heal different areas of an addict’s life through psychiatry and medicine.
The type of treatment recommended is dependent on the stage and severity of the addiction. Early stages of addiction are often treated with medication and therapy, while patients benefit from inpatient addiction treatment programs in later stages and co-occurring addiction.
Some of the most common therapies include:
- Medications to treat mental disorders causing the addiction
- Behavioral therapy and talk psychotherapy, as well as group therapies
- medical services to treat severe addiction complications, like withdrawal during the detox process
- addiction case manager partnering to help with coordinating and keeping tabs on ongoing treatment
- inpatient addiction treatment
- self-help and support groups
Support groups are often recommended for addicts as it goes a long way in making the recovery journey easier and more successful.
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12-Steps Addiction Recovery Groups
Most addiction recovery groups are secular organizations for sobriety and groups therapy self-help groups that employ the 12-step programs. These 12-step groups include narcotics anonymous, alcoholics anonymous, and cocaine anonymous.
12-step programs are based on three main principles to help in drug recovery:
Acceptance – members are required to accept that addiction is a chronic disease where drug use or alcohol abuse has made their life unmanageable. Members also need to acknowledge that willpower alone is not enough to overcome addiction, with abstinence being the only option.
Surrender – members are asked to surrender the addiction struggle to a higher power, accept peer support from other group members, and follow through with the laid out plans through recovery training.
Active involvement – members are required to involve themselves with the group meetings actively. The meetings follow a group therapy setup that promotes healthy lifestyles and abstinence through peer discussions, social support, and mutual support.
How to Find an Ideal Addiction Recovery Group
While inpatient addiction treatment facilities host 12-step programs as part of the treatment services process, there are numerous outpatient programs in different states. These outpatient groups are open to the public and encourage active participation under a sponsorship model to ensure members hold each other accountable.
You can find an addiction recovery group by:
- Ask your addiction treatment provider for support groups recommendations in your region.
- Find information on 12-step websites, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous.
- Contacting the local hospital, addiction treatment center, or faith-based organization about addiction recovery support groups.
If you cannot attend an in-person addiction support group, you can find online meetings like Mensgroup.com. This virtual recovery online support community coordinates virtual hangouts, meetings, and more.
Addiction Recovery Groups Referral and Recommendations
Al-Anon family groups
Al-Anon is a support group for family members and friends of alcoholics. It offers support, guidance, and an opportunity to learn from other people who have lived with alcoholics. It has a support group for families and teens to ensure everyone has a safe space to come and learn more about alcoholism.
Narcotics Anonymous is a support organization for narcotics addicts. As a global community-based organization, meetings take place in different parts of the world in different localities. You can check online for an available meeting in your area. It offers recovery from the effects of narcotics addiction through the twelve-step program.
Men’s Group is an online men’s support group that offers group support, help, and guidance to men interested in becoming better versions of themselves, including men working to overcome addiction.
It is a supportive network of men ready and willing to help others like them through shared life experiences. The mensgroup.com group session is rich in relevant information to help you lead a better life. It is more than just a self-help group. It offers one the support and guidance to become a better man and lead a better, more fulfilling drug-free life.
As an online support group for men, the group meets virtually over video or chat, making it perfect for busy men who prefer not to attend physical addiction anonymous meetings, especially in this coronavirus pandemic era.
Like any other mental health problem, understanding addiction is a necessary first step in recovery. Whether you are an addict looking for help or a friend or loved one to an addict, this article has all the information you need to understand addiction and help you get the help you need. MensGroup offers a strong social network of friends who will walk with you in your recovery journey for men who need a support network.
*Sources: 1. Drug addiction recovery groups 2. 2 Types of Groups Commonly Used in Substance Abuse Treatment 3. MAJOR AND MINOR IN ADDICTION AND RECOVERY 4. Community, Family, & Addiction Sciences 5. There is life after addiction. Most people recover