Steps to Building a Strong Support Network in Recovery

Steps to Building a Strong Support Network in Recovery

Having a strong and sober network can help a recovering alcohol addict achieve a sober lifestyle more quickly, make their life easier and motivate them to take more active and positive roles in the community.

Studies have proven that a robust support network can significantly help minimize the risks of relapse (or its duration if it occurs) in the patient under treatment. So, to achieve full and early recovery and move quickly towards happier living with more fulfilling relationships, it is best to involve as many genuinely caring people as possible, in the recovering addict’s support network.

Here are tips to building a strong support team.

Never Go It Alone

You must first realise that you need others and you need to ask for their help. Never do it alone. Some recovering patients try to do it alone, but end up suffering a relapse. Don’t forget that in some ways, addiction may subconsciously force you to isolate yourself from friends and family. A support network groups is therefore an effective counter recovery measure as it allows you to connect and relate with others more meaningfully and under a convivial, non-judgmental atmosphere.

Understand What You Want

There’s so much information in the public domain about alcohol use, abuse and treatment, but not all the information is correct or helpful. So when building a strong support network, you need to let the team members, including family and friends, understand your situation, what exactly alcohol addiction or dependence means, the available treatment options; your progress levels in treatment and how you’re feeling. It looks like a tough task, but you need to be upfront and honest about it with people in your network. You may also refer them to professional resources, books and websites.

Select Your Group Wisely

A strong social support is honest, open, understanding and motivational. It comprises of people who are genuinely interested in the former addict’s success with their sobriety goals. The patient should include a good mix of people of various background and age groups, but more importantly, look out for people who have had success in long term recovery.

People who have been sober for a long time usually understands better what a recovering patient is going through and so, can offer a more helpful, long term support. Such relationships have the potential to transform into great friendships and will help the new patient overcome feelings of isolation that could trigger a relapse.

Be patient

To get supportive friends and dedicated family in your social support group, you need to prove to be a good and committed friend too. Also, you have to be patient with them if at the initial time it appears that they don’t understand what you need or you think you’re not getting from them what you expected. Don’t forget that in the end, everyone in the social support network – addict or non-addict – is on a journey to find meaning and satisfaction in their lives and so prone to make occasional mistakes along the way.  Just be open with the communication and try to conjure an air of fellowship and camaraderie. The social ties-building platform is also an opportunity to seize to exhibit other key communication skills learnt during rehab like honesty, empathy and assertiveness.


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