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The Importance of a Strong Support System During Recovery

With nearly 23 million people identified as dependent on either alcohol or drugs and almost 4 million drug-related emergency room visits each year, drug and alcohol addiction is a common problem in the United States. Unfortunately, nearly 50 percent of the people who seek treatment this year will relapse. Thankfully, research has shown that with the right rehabilitation program and a strong support system during recovery, an addict is more likely to stay clean and sober.

Detox and Rehabilitation

During the earliest phase of recovery, detox, the support system is purely medical. The treatment is focused on relieving the physical symptoms as the newly sober person comes from the substance they were abusing. Detox should always occur in an inpatient setting. Once the detox period is complete, the rehabilitation can begin.

During rehab, new skills are built to replace old ones. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps the newly sober individual identify potential triggers and plan the coping methods that are to be used. They also assist the patient to develop new coping skills and mend relationships that have been broken.

At this stage, it is highly beneficial for the recovering addict to be in an inpatient setting. Inpatient rehab offers a wide variety of benefits.

These include:

  • Structure that ‘s hard to find elsewhere
  • No access to drugs or alcohol
  • Ability to focus on self without distractions
  • No negative influences or distractions to the recovery process
  • Ongoing support from the rehab facility

Inpatient programs also give individuals a chance to build strong relationships with other newly sober people. They do this through supervised social opportunities as well as group therapy and other activities. Alternative therapies, such as art and music therapy, yoga, tai chi, physical exercise programs and more, also give individuals a chance to socialize. These relationships can continue for years and help both individuals maintain their sobriety.

During this time, the support system becomes increasingly important. For the recovering addict with a supportive family and sober friends, that ‘s not hard. For others, this can take work. Relationships formed during the rehab program can help sustain recovery long after the inpatient program has ended. Here are the benefits of inpatient drug rehab.

Community-Based Support System During Recovery

During the later stage of the rehab program, the focus shifts to community-based support. The newly recovered addict has developed new skills needed to begin to rebuild their life. For the transition into community life to be successful, however, a strong support system is essential.

Those with a strong support system benefit from:

  • Accountability
  • A lifeline during temptation
  • An opportunity to voice frustration
  • Resources and advice
  • Socialization to avoid isolation

Sober family and friends as well as other people in recovery, therapists, and other professionals should all have a place in this support system. Working with people who have been in recovery for a period of time can also be helpful. They are useful for learning additional skills that will be essential for resisting the urge to fall back into old habits. They can also help the addict identify and avoid troublesome patterns. Community-based support groups are an excellent way to build this strong support system.

Sober Living Facility

After completion of the rehab programs, some people need the continued support of a sober living facility. In this environment, sober relationships are formed and previous relationships are evaluated and either healed or abandoned. Supervision makes it impossible to bring any drugs, alcohol or other paraphernalia into the facility. Weekly, or even daily, drug tests are also a typical part of the program.

Re-entering the Community with a Strong Support System During Recovery

After sober living, there comes a time when the recovering addict must reenter the community. At this point, temptations run high. At this time, a strong support system during recovery is most important. Having accountability partners can help keep the addict sober. Having sober friends can provide a useful social outlet.

Relapse remains a constant threat for those who are recovering from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Thankfully, with a strong support system,  this risk can be minimized. A strong support system during recovery helps to give the recovering addict a sense of accountability as well as helping them avoid isolation. It can also provide a source of resources, advice and more for continued sobriety.

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