Recovery is a journey, and while you can develop effective tools during treatment, you’re going to need to be persistent to maintain recovery. Community options can provide a great way to help you explore new opportunities and continue growth in your recovery. However, knowing where to look can be initially overwhelming.
While some practitioners are unfamiliar with community-based resources that can help individuals in recovery maintain their sobriety, there are several resources on the web that anyone can research. Looking into community-based resources can help you find mutual support groups that best match your specific needs.
About 12-Step Programs
According to Soc Work Public Health, substance use disorders (SUD) are quite common and have a detrimental impact on how well physical, psychological, social, legal, professional, familial, educational, and other elements of life function. While seeking treatment is the first step toward recovery, maintaining long-term recovery can be challenging. Fortunately, you are not alone.
There are multiple paths to take to continue recovery. Twelve-Step programs are beneficial for long-term outcomes in recovery and include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Cocaine Anonymous (CA), amongst many others.
These programs offer continuing care for individuals in recovery in the form of community support post-treatment. They serve as significant and easily accessible resources in drug rehabilitation since they are widely accessible and offered free of charge in communities worldwide.
According to estimates from the AA General Service Office, there were roughly 64,000 organizations with 1.4 million members in the United States and Canada as of January 2012, and more than 114,000 groups with 2.1 million members worldwide. Additionally, web searches are an easy way to quickly locate online meetings and “chat rooms” for AA, NA, and CA.
Are There Any Requirements to Join a 12-Step Program?
The only requirement for joining 12-Step organizations is the willingness to give up alcohol and/or drug use. Service and assisting other members in becoming sober are also prioritized highly.
The 12-Step concept alludes to a specific understanding of the healing process. It highlights the significance of acknowledging addiction as a condition that can be suppressed but never cured, encouraging personal development and spiritual growth, reducing egotism, and helping those who also struggle with addiction.
In accordance with these steps, those addicted to substances must acknowledge their helplessness in the face of alcohol and drugs, take a moral inventory of themselves, acknowledge the nature of their wrongdoings, compile a list of persons they have wronged, and make apologies to those persons. Participation in such organizations is intended to offer people social support for staying substance-free.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is also an organization that promotes partnering with people in recovery from mental and substance use disorders. This organization provides services to help people remove barriers to recovery by providing housing and reducing barriers to unemployment, education, and other necessities.
These services are offered by professionals and peers and are supplied by a range of community and faith-based organizations, treatment facilities, educational institutions, and other specialized agencies.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recovery is a path that not all individuals understand. Fortunately, recovery support systems that were originally created by people in recovery are widely available. Their goal is to help people seeking recovery navigate their recovery by sustaining positive social networks that can help maintain individuals in recovery.
They focus on a variety of issues, such as housing options, strong family and social interactions, job training and employment, education, and many other individual and professional needs. These elements, generally referred to as “recovery capital,” improve a person’s capacity for social interaction, lower the risk of problematic substance use, and improve quality of life.
According to SAMHSA, community mental health and recovery organizations should learn to effectively interact with people of different cultures to meet each individual’s needs. To produce positive change within communities, recovery organizations must be willing to learn the skills needed to better understand the cultural context of the community they serve. This can be done by working with knowledgeable people within the community to draw on community-based values and traditions.
SAMHSA also reported that individuals and communities who struggle with social and economic disadvantages are more likely to face overall health difficulties. It is common for people with certain characteristics to face discrimination and, as a result, be negatively impacted by their health status.
These characteristics can include:
- Race or ethnicity
- Low socioeconomic status
- Mental health
- Sexual orientation or gender identity
- Geographic location
Organizations like SAMHSA are dedicated to addressing these issues and implementing change by providing mental health, prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. This dedication is further reinforced by the agency’s disparity impact statement, which tracks programs and actions to guarantee that outcomes are fair for all racial, ethnic, and other underserved populations in terms of access and use.
Recovery involves a lifelong commitment to your health to effectively maintain sobriety. While treatment can provide tools to help you in your journey, it is important to seek out community options that can help keep you on track. 12-Step programs, such as AA, NA, and CA, offer continuing care for individuals in recovery free of charge, no matter what your situation is. The only requirement to join most 12-Step programs is the willingness to give up drug or alcohol use by focusing on helping yourself while encouraging others to live healthy lives. Addiction is a disorder that requires support from family and communities that can understand your situation. For more information, call (303) 351-7888.