Building a Network to Support Lasting Recovery
When undertaking the monumental journey towards sobriety, you’ll find a significant key to success lies in establishing a solid sober support network. A thoughtfully curated sober support network is not just friends or family cheering from the sidelines – it’s an intricate system of individuals who understand your struggle and are committed to aiding your recovery process.
To stay on the right path, it’s crucial to understand what a strong sober support team is and how to build and maintain it. Keep reading to learn more about this crucial part of recovery and learn how Catalina Behavioral Health can help you find long-term sobriety.
What is a Sober Support Network?
A sober support network is a support group of individuals who provide emotional, psychological, and often practical assistance to someone in recovery from substance or alcohol abuse. This network might include peers and professionals.
The purpose of this network is not just listening to your ups and downs, but inspiring positive habits through shared experiences. This network can serve as a reminder that despite challenges faced during the journey towards sobriety, victory still remains attainable.
In short, if your path seems unbearably tough at times, always remember that there’s help available from people who truly understand what you’re going through.
Make Sure You Find the Right Treatment Options
Recovery is a journey, and finding the right treatment plan is essential to start on the right track. Without a solid foundation, it won’t matter how great your sober network is. Here’s how you can start your recovery journey:
Detoxification, commonly referred to as detox, serves as the starting point of recovery – it’s the process where your body clears itself of drugs or alcohol. It provides a necessary cleansing, freeing your system from harmful toxins accrued through prolonged substance abuse.
The primary goal of detox is to safely manage withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking a drug or alcohol, as this process can be quite uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening, depending on the circumstances.
This underlines why medical detox is so vital. Medical professionals monitor your physical health throughout this period, providing care and adjusting treatment options according to individual needs. You may be given medication to ease your withdrawal symptoms or to ensure that you don’t have seizures or dangerously high blood pressure.
Professional detox gives you the best chance of creating a solid foundation for your long-term sobriety.
As a resident of the rehab center, you’ll find an environment dedicated to recovery, offering around-the-clock care and support from professional staff.
This approach removes substance-related triggers by removing you from your typical environment, which allows you to focus on healing.
Additionally, the structured routine provides a sense of stability during an otherwise tumultuous time. Your day typically gets filled with therapy sessions (individual and group), healthcare appointments, educational classes about addiction, and other activities promoting healthy habits.
While in treatment, you can truly begin to understand the underlying reasons for your addiction and work to overcome your struggles.
A Partial Hospitalization Program or PHP
A Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) can work wonders in bridging the transition from the intense care of inpatient treatment to daily life. It provides just enough structure without totally isolating you from the external world, making it immensely beneficial when you’re early on in recovery.
PHP offers essentially the same services as inpatient does, but instead of staying overnight, you go home to sleep. It usually takes place 5-6 days per week 6-8 hours per day.
Not only does PHP provide continual medical monitoring, but it also allows you to apply newly acquired coping skills within real-life situations. You then have the ability to come in the next day and process any difficulties you’re having outside of the treatment facility.
Intensive Outpatient Program
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) offer another bridge between inpatient rehabilitation and your return home. Ideal for those who require ongoing support but have stepped past the need for a residential setting, they provide structured therapeutic services while allowing engagement with daily responsibilities.
You attend treatment sessions multiple days per week—usually 3 to 5 times—for about 2 or 3 hours each day. This offers ample time to engage in individual counseling as well as group therapy.
A regular outpatient program strikes a balance between intensive treatment and independence. It’s perfect for those who have tackled the initial struggles with detox and intense therapies but still need some level of support to further solidify their recovery journey.
Among all the levels of care, this most flexible treatment model often consists of weekly therapy sessions, typically supplemented by group sessions and/or educational workshops, depending on specific program offerings. You can schedule these sessions around your day-to-day obligations, allowing you to tend to personal responsibilities like work, school, or family commitments while maintaining active participation in your healing process.
No matter what type of treatment you participate in, it’s critical to have a sober support network written into your plan.
7 Healthy Ways To Build a Strong Support Network
Building a sturdy support network, especially when trying to maintain sobriety, is integral for your growth and recovery journey. Here are some worthwhile avenues:
1) Inpatient and Outpatient treatment
Both forms of treatment present ways to build a solid foundation for your recovery journey. In an inpatient rehab facility, you are surrounded by people going through similar experiences under the guidance of professional staff 24/7. During your time in treatment – and sometimes even after treatment – they become your immediate community, offering an empathetic ear, advice, or just company when needed.
Outpatient rehabs facilitate connections chiefly through group therapy sessions, where you encounter others enduring parallel journeys toward sobriety because nobody understands better than those facing similar struggles.
2) Sober Living Communities
These spaces provide safe environments conducive for those in recovery from addiction. It’s like landing on home ground if you’ve felt alienated among others who do not share similar life struggles with substances.
In a sober living community, you won’t be living with anyone who uses drugs or alcohol, which provides a safe space for you to focus on your recovery. Taking temptation out of your life can be a significant help, especially in early sobriety.
Additionally, you will meet people that you can spend time with and have fun with – it doesn’t ALL have to be about your sobriety. Having this social support will make your journey easier in the long run.
3) 12 Step Programs and Other Support Groups
Known worldwide due to the fantastic work of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), these community-based programs encourage mentorship between newcomers and experienced members as a way to promote long-term sobriety.
When you attend recovery groups like Narcotics Anonymous or AA meetings, you can meet people who understand what you’re going through and who can share what they’ve done to rebuild their lives and live in a healthy and sober way.
The good news about 12-step recovery meetings (and other meetings such as SMART Recovery) is they are everywhere, all over the world. No matter where you are, you can always find a group of people who will understand what you’re dealing with and who will be beside you every step of the way.
Many colleges and even some of the local community college campuses in your area may also host such meetings, and other ‘students in recovery meetings’ if you are still attending school or thinking of going back to get a degree after the completion of rehab.
4) Online Support Recovery Groups
While many people believe physical meetings are more productive, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with checking out some online 12-step meetings or other online support groups.
If you’re just starting out in recovery, beginning in an online support group can take away some of the nerves of showing up in person.
Additionally, physical support meetings may be challenging or restrictive, especially for those who work long hours and/or have family obligations to handle. An online group can be an excellent alternative resource and can provide a support system literally 24 hours per day 7 days per week. You can meet group members who will be there to support you in your long-term recovery journey.
5) Confide in Supportive Family Members
You don’t have to walk the path of recovery alone! Share your struggles and achievements with family members that you trust and who can support and empathize with your healing journey, offer motivation when hurdles appear, and rejoice at the successes you experience. This kind of built-in love reinforces determination even during shaky moments.
If you don’t have family members who you are comfortable talking to, that’s perfectly okay, too. Many people have their own chosen families. It’s also possible that you might rebuild relationships and begin to celebrate holidays and return to other core practices with family members who have damaged relationships going back years.
6) Evaluate Existing Relationships and Filter Out Unhealthy Ones
As you progress on this transformative passage towards sobriety, it’s crucial that those around you reinforce healthy and sober habits over destructive old patterns linked with your past.
Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be conducive to your recovery goals. This may mean stepping back from certain relationships if they encourage negative behavior or thoughts, so you can remain focused on those who value your recovery and the changes you’re trying to make.
This isn’t to say you have to cut a certain family member, other members of your social group, or even everyone out of your life and start over, but you must surround yourself with people who are going to build you up and not break you down – even unintentionally.
7) Open Communication and Vulnerability
Being open and honest about your struggles with addiction lays the foundation for a strong recovery network. It requires courage to express feelings of vulnerability, yet doing so allows those around you to understand what you’re going through and provide appropriate guidance, empathy, or even tough love at times.
Transparent communication with family members or sober friends willing to help can also make them aware of triggers, enabling them to take proactive measures to help protect your sobriety.
While you have personal responsibility for your recovery, don’t be afraid to ask for help – it doesn’t make you weak! Do whatever it takes to stay on track and build a strong support system that provides positive reinforcement for your recovery.
The Role of Professional Support in Your Sober Network
Professional support plays a dynamic role within your sober network as well, offering expert guidance on physical and mental health fronts that friends or family might not be equipped to provide. This most often includes doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists.
Doctors are crucial for monitoring physical well-being throughout the recovery process. Chronic substance use often leads to specific health problems and ensuring you’re physically healthy can dramatically improve your overall recovery experience.
Therapists play an extremely critical role too. They are equipped with techniques that help you address the root causes of your addiction — such as trauma or underlying mental illness—using approaches like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which enable breaking away from destructive patterns toward establishing healthier habits.
Once you’re further along on the path to sobriety, they can help you maintain it as well. A therapist can help you process difficult emotions and situations you may find yourself in and work on coping skills to deal with these.
Psychiatrists also play an exceptionally important role, as they can prescribe medications – such as anti-depressants or antipsychotics – which can significantly ease the transition towards sobriety. Substance use disorders often come with co-occurring psychiatric disorders, so having a professional to oversee your mental health disorders and ensure you’re on the right medication – if that’s something you decide to do – is crucial.
The Importance of a Sober Support Network
Recovery from drug abuse is a journey that is personal and unique to each individual. However, it’s impossible to walk this path alone. One of the critical aspects of recovery is developing a sober support network to help you succeed. Here’s why having meaningful connections and support networks is so critical:
Emotional Support and Understanding
One of the most significant aspects of a sober support network is the emotional support and understanding it provides. Substance use disorders can leave us feeling disconnected and misunderstood, but a strong sober support network can bridge this gap.
By connecting with people in recovery, we can share our experiences, insights, and struggles, creating a well of understanding and empathy that bolsters our sobriety.
Accountability and Encouragement
Recovery is a process that requires continued commitment and dedication. A healthy support network can provide the accountability and encouragement necessary to stay on the path of sobriety. We can turn to our new support network for reinforcement when we face challenges or when we need motivation to maintain our recovery efforts.
Reducing Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness
Quitting drugs and alcohol often means that old connections, particularly those related to substance use, begin to fade away. While this is a good thing if you intend to stay sober, it can leave you feeling isolated and lonely. Fortunately, there are ways to find support in these difficult times. Building a sober support network is vital to alleviate these feelings of isolation and loneliness, building new, meaningful connections based on sobriety.
Reach Out to Catalina for Help With Substance Use Today
Sobriety can be a challenging journey, marked by moments of strength and times of struggle. This is where the significance of a reliable support network comes in. It serves as your backbone during difficulties in your life and your sobriety.
No matter what your needs might be in pursuit of a substance-free life, you never have to do it alone.
If you need help figuring out what the next step should be, Catalina Behavioral Health is here to help. Whether you need inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment, or simply need some advice on what to do next, we are always happy to help. Contact us to speak with us about your recovery process.
All calls to our facility are confidential, so please reach out in confidence now!