Sobriety Solutions for All
When someone makes the decision to evaluate or cease the use of alcohol, substances, or addictive behaviors, it is usually the best, scariest day of their lives.
So when you make the decision to get sober, what comes next?
There is the perception of rehabs and treatment facilities, as well as the general knowledge of an AA group, but the average person is relatively unfamiliar with the process of getting the help and support they need. It can be extremely overwhelming attempting to find answers online of what to do and how to begin.
Let’s go through the basics of getting help and getting started with your sobriety.
Firstly, a medical evaluation for detoxication and treatment is never a bad place to start. For the safety of yourself or loved one, please speak with your primary physician or seek medical attention to determine your needs.
For those who are deemed inappropriate for formal treatment services, support groups are immensely important for anyone seeking recovery. Having a group of people who can guide and support you through this decision is immeasurable.
With the recent advancements in tele-health and the destigmatization of addiction, there are so many options for how to gain support. Almost all recovery programs are now hosting online meetings, so explore and find what works best for you.
Here’s a few popular options for recovery programs:
Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous is by far the most popular and well-known recovery program in the world. If you’re abusing something, there’s an anonymous meeting for it- Cocaine Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Gambling Anonymous, etc. This program asks its members to share their hope and growth in meetings, as well as make themselves available to “newcomers” as they begin working through their 12 Steps. The principles are based around community, gratitude, and giving back to others. While this is not a program based off a specific religion, members are encouraged to explore spirituality and seek purpose in life through their self-proclaimed Higher Power. Meetings are held daily and are offered in-person and online round the clock.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christian-based program that is centered around the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. This program is open to anyone experiencing addiction to alcohol or substances, mental illness, pain, or any other issue in their life that causes distress. The breakdown of CR is a combination of sermon, then small group meeting. These groups typically meet 1-3 times a week and are held both in person and online.
SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) Recovery is a program based on teaching persons addicted to substances or behaviors better means of coping through community. Groups are held by certified SMART leaders and focus on teaching principles related to maintaining urges, positive coping strategies, and maintaining motivation for change. SMART utilizes activities and readings based on scientific research to better explain and pinpoint deficits in maladaptive coping skills. Meetings are held in-person as well as online nationwide.
Refuge Recovery is a program based on the Buddhist principles. Refuge focuses on healing the suffering caused by a person’s addictive tendencies. The program is based on the teachings from Siddhartha Gautaman, who focused on the healing powers of meditations, wise mind actions, and compassion. Rather than using the 12 Step model, Refuge Recovery utilizes the Four Noble Truths associated with the Buddhist belief system. It is noted that a person does not have to believe or follow the Buddhist faith to be successful or welcomed into this recovery program. Meetings are held in person as well as online.
Recovery Dharma, similarly to Refuge Recovery, is another program based out of Buddhist practices. Recovery Dharma is a community-based organization that focuses on the teachings of Dharma to assist people in healing themselves from addiction. This program accepts those addicted to both substances and behaviors. Meetings are held in-person and online.
Recovery Community Centers are becoming more and more popular throughout hte United States. While these are not specifically a recovery program, they provide resources to those in recovery including access to meetings, peer recovery coaches, and specialized trainings. It’s impossible to say everything provided by each individual center, but it’s not uncommon to find various meetings including 12 Step Yoga, Young People in Recovery, etc. They are a one-stop-shop for those in recovery to get connected and figure out what works for them.
By no means is this an all-inclusive list. There are so many ways to connect to others and get support in your decision for sobriety. It is also recommended that anyone in early recovery or long-term recovery seek mental health care- a therapist is an invaluable tool in this process.
If any of these listed above spark your interest, I challenge you to visit their website and get involved.
(Christian Brown, LCSW, CAADC)