Recovery is a journey that is never complete because addiction is a chronic disease that requires continuous maintenance. For those in recovery, it is important to build a solid support system even after clinical treatment is complete. No journey is exactly the same, so support can come from a variety of places, ranging from organized meetings to personal relationships.
Where can a person seek support? Read on for a few ideas on where to start.
Family and Friends
A common source of support for those starting out in recovery is from loved ones- the friends and family that you can rely on for their help when you need it. Fostering healthy relationships is an important part of maintaining sobriety.
The more your friends and family understand the disease of addiction, the better they can help support your recovery. There are great educational programs and groups available for loved ones of those at any stage of their recovery journey, including Bradford’s Family Program. This program is open to anyone, is free of charge, and aims to teach people about the treatment of substance use disorders and the recovery process.
Meetings and Support Groups
Meetings and support groups can also play a key role in maintaining sobriety. There are many different groups that serve as a community of peers who have also been through addiction. Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Self-Management and Recovery Training, and many other groups meet locally and often also offer virtual meetings. Meeting and community support groups, such as Al-Anon and AlaTeen, are available in many communities and open to family and friends of those with a substance use disorder.
Visit our resources page for helpful tools and support group information
One of the best ways to stay sober after finishing substance use disorder treatment is to find a sponsor. A sponsor is someone that is in recovery for an extended period. They can relate to what you are going through and become a guide through early recovery experiences and act as a sounding board, with whom you can be completely honest. It is not a position that a spouse or close friend should fill.
Your sponsor should be someone that can act as your mirror. This means they will be direct with you and tell you when you begin to slip towards a relapse or ignore warnings and risky behavior. Many find their sponsor in support groups like AA, NA, or an alumni program.
Alumni and Aftercare Programs
Lasting bonds and friendships are often forged in a residential or outpatient treatment program. Alumni and Aftercare Programs serve to keep those with similar treatment experiences connected and to share struggles and accomplishments in both life and sobriety.
Alumni and Aftercare Programs, such as the one available to Bradford’s Alumni, seek to give former patients the support and resources that we need to live a life of sobriety. Our program also provides ways to be of service to our communities and current residents. Whether you volunteer at one of our facilities across the southeast or if you share your experience, strength, and hope via a Zoom meeting, it carries the message of sobriety for us all.
A Continuum of Care
Substance use disorders are best treated along a continuum of services. Most individuals find that as their treatment needs change so does the intensity and setting of the services they receive. There are a wide range of options available to continue refining a recovery plan with the assistance of professionals including extended care rehab, intensive outpatient and outpatient treatments, and sober living programs. Based on your needs and situation, these programs may be recommended to you upon discharge from your initial program.
Addiction is a chronic illness that needs a lifelong treatment plan. Support will look different for each and every person, however, the opportunities are limitless. Take the time to talk with an addiction specialist or counselor to help find the best options for you.
The journey to recovery can start with a simple call. Bradford is available 24/7 to help you or your loved one take that first step. Call 888-577-0012 or start a live chat to speak with a Care Coordinator today.