Struggling with addiction takes a toll not just on ourselves, but also on the people we care about. But overcoming any form of drug abuse is easier said than done, and this is especially true for women. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that women, on average, often face greater difficulties due to both biological differences and harsher societal expectations. And despite nearly 20 million women using illicit substances in the past year alone, many addiction treatment programs remain designed and geared towards, men. This is why our team at Anchored Tides Recovery focuses on women and what it takes to achieve long-term recovery.
Now, many people assume that once you get through withdrawal, addiction recovery is a piece of cake. But the truth is that it is only the beginning. True addiction recovery means making active decisions each day to stay sober and find happiness in everyday life. While there are a lot of different things that will help with these decisions (pursuing hobbies, working out, etc.), the real key is building a strong support system early on.
Why a Support System is Important
Very few of us can make big life achievements all on our own. And yes, getting sober is a major achievement. With the right people surrounding you and supporting you throughout your recovery, you’ll be better able to make the right decisions. Everyone’s situation is different, and support systems can consist of a variety of people: family members, friends, counselors, mentors, etc. For many people in early sobriety, it is a good idea to surround yourself with a blend of people from these areas to get different perspectives and support from all areas of life. Specifically, a strong support system helps you in the following ways:
- They give you an outlet to voice your frustrations and feelings.
- They provide a real-world perspective and can help remind you why sobriety is good (healthy peer pressure).
- They show that a sober, healthy life is within reach.
- They can help expand your social circle with other healthy-minded individuals.
- They can introduce you to healthy, enjoyable hobbies.
- They help remind you that you are an important, well-liked person with value to others.
Above all, building a strong support system keeps you accountable to others rather than just yourself. You’re not deciding to stay sober just because of yourself now; you’re also doing it for the important people in your life.
Choosing the Right People
Now that you know how important having a good support system is, how do you go about surrounding yourself with the right people? To start, you should only be around people who are sober and/or who have already made great strides in fighting their own addiction problems and are acutely focused on sobriety. Especially in early sobriety, it is not a good idea to continue associating with people who are not supportive of you discontinuing drug abuse or who even enabled it. It is all too easy sometimes to slip and relapse, but the right people will do what they can to help you make the right decisions. In the event that you do relapse, the right people are the ones who will help you get back up and into treatment.
As mentioned earlier, support systems often consist of different kinds of people who are meaningful in your life. For many, it starts with the people in their addiction treatment program. Your rehabilitation staff will serve as some of your earliest supporters, helping see you through the early stages and on to long-term recovery. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of all the resources your treatment program has to offer! There will be many opportunities for you to meet other like-minded individuals and strong people you can relate to.
That said, while it is important to continue therapy and have the support of a counselor, it is also important to be able to develop a healthy social life with family and friends. Working individuals may even confide in a trusted employer or coworker about their efforts and their intent to stay sober, thus expanding their support system even further.
Consider Group Therapy
One of the best ways you can build up your support system early on in addiction recovery is by participating in group therapy. This is also another case where you can utilize the resources available to you through your addiction program and find a group that you feel comfortable with. Giving you an outlet with people who know exactly what you’re going through, group therapy has been shown to be highly effective for all kinds of people. It’s also worth noting that groups can help keep you even more accountable than others in your life can, as they can relate to your temptations and will recognize any excuses you may make. In fact, many people continue group therapy long into sobriety because of the support they feel and the meaningful connections that are made.
We Can Help You Find the Support You Need!
Looking for the help you need to overcome drug addiction once and for all? We’re here for you. Anchored Tides Recovery is a comprehensive addiction treatment program designed specifically for women, by women. Our various levels of outpatient and partial-hospitalization services are designed to help you beat drug abuse without having to give up everyday life and the things that make you “you”. In addition to the initial stages of treatment that will help you overcome physical dependency, we focus on long-term recovery monitoring.
Our team of caring professionals will also help form part of your support system, and we will help you strengthen your relationships elsewhere. With the right team behind you, long-term sobriety is within reach! Contact us today!