While addiction is an individual struggle, recovery is rarely successful when done alone. September is National Recovery Month, which celebrates the gains made by people in recovery. This year’s theme, Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections, recognizes the support networks and dedicated workers who provide the prevention, treatment, and recovery support services that make it possible. Here’s how they can help and how you can connect.
About National Recovery Month
Now in its 31st year, the goal of National Recovery Month is to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders and to encourage individuals in need of treatment and recovery services to seek help. It also serves as a reminder that we can overcome the stigmas that often overshadow the recovery journey in sharing our accomplishments and struggles.
Sponsored this year by Faces & Voices of Recovery, the group wants to “inspire people across the country to recognize the strength and resilience of individuals living in recovery,” and to spread the message that “help is effective and available and that healthy and rewarding lives are in reach, knowing that our humanity is the cornerstone that connects us all.
The Importance of a Support Network
According to Faces and Voices of Recovery, 20.2 million Americans (8.2% of the U.S. population) identify as a person in recovery from a drug/alcohol use problem. While each person’s journey is different, they will likely tell you that support was vital to maintaining their recovery. The benefits of a support network include:https://rm.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/08/Your-Choices-Our-Lives-A-Quick-Guide-08.31.20.pdf
- Advice – Recovery is often uncharted territory; you likely don’t know what to expect or how to handle difficult situations that may arise. Another point of view, particularly from someone who’s been there, can make things much more manageable.
- Strength – When you’re struggling with sobriety or with any challenges during recovery, a support network can remind you what you’ve already been through, your successes, and the resilience you’ve shown so far. Their belief in you can make you even stronger!
- Someone to Listen – Everyone needs this, but especially those in recovery. Having a safe space to share your feelings and experiences, no matter how dark, can be comforting and more healing than you may realize.
- Someone to Keep You in Check – It’s easy to fall off track, and while understandable, your recovery depends on you staying committed. That’s why having a support network that knows your triggers can recognize red flags early on and will hold you accountable is essential.
- A Celebration Crew – In a journey this challenging, success is worth celebrating, no matter how big or small the win. It’s even more rewarding when you have a cheering section to celebrate with you. It makes those successes even more real.
Who’s in the Recovery Network?
Your support network should be comprised of people who are reliable and trustworthy, who can communicate openly and honestly with you. This may include:
- Peer Support Groups – Groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) have helped thousands of people maintain their recovery through fellowship and support. These 12-step groups, and others like them, are based around discussion and the sharing of experiences. Chapters can be found across the country.
- Sober Companions – Or recovery companions, are solid in their own recovery and are trained in helping people maintain their sobriety once a treatment program is completed. They offer 24/7 support, whether it be early recovery or during life events that could trigger a relapse. They also maintain open lines of communication with the entire support team to ensure the most appropriate level of care.
- Sober Coaches – Also called recovery coaches, offer experienced support in the early stages of recovery and are meant for those who do not require 24/7 companionship or intensive care. They offer one-on-one help in adjusting to a healthy lifestyle and addressing potential challenges through mentoring, education, and problem-solving techniques.
- Family and Friends – They know you better than anyone and can be one of the most important aspects of your support system, particularly from an emotional aspect. This can also be an opportunity to rebuild some of those connections. However, make sure only to include those who truly respect your recovery journey and take it seriously. Distance yourself from enablers.
Keep in mind, physicians, therapists, and case managers should also be part of the support network.
Stories of Recovery
Inspirational stories of recovery happen every day, at Heather R. Hayes and Associates Inc., we are proud and honored to be part of hundreds of stories of recovery every year. We know that recovery doesn’t happen alone, and we are there for anyone who needs support on the way. We will meet you wherever you are.
For more information or help in navigating your addiction treatment and recovery options, call 800-219-0570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.