When you graduate from one of our programs and re-assimilate into everyday life, it’s vital to have robust support systems in place.
Preparing a sober lifestyle plan ahead of time is the best way to be proactive in your recovery for the strongest chance of a lifetime of success.
Navigating early recovery and immediately after leaving treatment brings a new set of challenges that can be challenging to sobriety. Being an active member of a recovery community with dedicated peer support is vital.
What is the Purpose of Peer-Support Communities?
Peer support is defined as providing and receiving nonprofessional support in a casual setting from others who have faced similar challenges or circumstances for the purpose of maintaining long-term recovery from substance abuse and other psychiatric-related addictions. Within peer support groups, there is an individual(s) who is responsible for leading his or her peers by providing guidance and a listening ear to those who need it. Most of the time, these are peer leaders who are in addiction recovery themselves.
Peer support groups function to provide the following services to those in post-rehab recovery:
- Hosting and facilitating activities that are sober-friendly and promote socialization without the need for drugs or alcohol
- Providing mentorship and guidance to those who are new to navigating life in recovery
- Connecting people with necessary recovery resources like 12-step programs, employment help, and social services
- Supplying continuing education and training to further develop stress management skills and coping techniques
Overall, the goal of peer-support communities is to promote healing and foster an environment conducive to sobriety.
Why is Community Important During Recovery?
Humans were not meant to live and work in isolation from others. Doing so can often result in feelings of loneliness, depression, and boredom. These conditions are detrimental to your chances of maintaining lasting recovery from addiction.
However, it’s also not wise to jump back into old social circles if they are not beneficial to your sobriety. It’s often necessary to build a new network of people to hang out with, learn from, and talk to.
Other times, it might be impossible to completely remove all remnants of your life during addiction due to factors related to your home or work environment that are out of your control. In these scenarios, having a strong support system for encouragement and accountability is absolutely crucial to avoid relapse.
Community groups made up of individuals equally as committed to a life of sobriety are there to help you manage temptations and triggers and stick to abstinence. Whether a structured peer-support program or a more casual community group is a better fit for you, recovery is made easier when you don’t attempt it alone.
Is Peer Support Effective for Recovery?
In the past decade, there has been an upward trend of peer support services being integrated into many recovery programs. Though this approach to relapse prevention is still being studied, the data that has been collected thus far suggests that those who participate in peer support groups demonstrated more positive outcomes and a higher rate of abstinence than those who did not.
Tracy, K. and S. Wallace., (29 September, 2016). Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction. Retrieved from Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction – PMC (nih.gov) on 21 June 2023
Armitage, E. V., et al. (09 July, 2010). Recovery Association Project (RAP), Portland, Oregon. Retrieved from Recovery Association Project (RAP), Portland, Oregon: Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly: Vol 28, No 3 (tandfonline.com) on 21 June 2023
SAMHSA. (n.d.). Peers Supporting Recovery from Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved from Value of Peers Infographics: Peer Recovery (samhsa.gov) on 21 June 2023