Having a strong social support system is an important aspect of a successful recovery from an alcohol or drug addiction. When you surround yourself with people who support your sobriety, you increase your chances of remaining sober.
What Is Social Support?
People who support you encourage you through tough times and help you celebrate your achievements and joys. Your support network can include family members and others who you can trust to provide emotional support.
Your support system may include:
- Your 12-Step sponsor, mentor, or recovery coach
- Members of peer support groups such as 12-Step programs
- Friends who are not involved in drinking or using drugs
- A counselor or therapist
- A member of the clergy or a spiritual advisor
Social Support Empowers You
During recovery, believing in yourself and keeping a positive attitude are important to your success. You must keep having faith that you have the ability to overcome the challenges you will face in recovery. Faith in oneself, also called self-efficacy, helps you stay on track and committed to your addiction recovery. People with a high level of self-efficacy are less likely to relapse compared to those with a low level of self-efficacy. On days when you are feeling less confident, your family, friends, and other members of your support system can encourage you and remind you of your accomplishments.
Social Support Improves Your Emotional Well-Being
Keeping emotions bottled up contributes to relapse. Your loved ones, friends, and peers can listen when you need to share your feelings if you are feeling sad, anxious, angry, or depressed. They can sympathize without judging you or brushing off your feelings.
Social Support Reduces Stress and Anxiety
A strong social support system helps to reduce stress. Knowing you have people you can trust and rely on relieves anxiety and worries. The more people in your support network, the more resources available to deal with challenges. Knowing how and when to ask for help is a key aspect of maintaining mental health and, by extension, sobriety.
Social Support Balances Your Expectations
People usually tend to adopt the attitudes, expectations, and beliefs of those they spend the most time with. When a person is in active addiction, they spend time with people who share or validate their harmful behavior. In recovery, it is important to spend time with people who support recovery. By taking part in 12-Step groups, attending sober activities, and spending time with sober friends, you will adopt more healthy behaviors and positive beliefs.
Social Support Makes You Happier
By taking part in sober activities and outings, you meet new people with whom you share interests. You can interact and socialize with others without having the temptation of substances within reach. Sometimes, active addiction makes people forget how to enjoy anything without drinking or using drugs. Attending sober activities can help you remember what it’s like to have fun without drugs or alcohol.
Social Support Keeps You From Isolating
When a person is in active addiction, they often feel alone. Many isolate themselves from friends and family so they can drink or use drugs in secrecy. The longer their substance use continues, the farther they distance themselves to hide their behavior. The recovery process reintroduces people to a community. At a treatment center or at 12-Step meetings, they meet others who have experienced similar situations. They are shown that recovery is possible and that they are not alone.
Do You Need Help?
Addiction can affect anyone. It is a chronic, treatable disease. If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, help is available. Canyon Vista Recovery Center, located in Mesa, Arizona, provides treatment for substance addiction. Our caring professionals use a combination of medical, clinical, psychiatric, and holistic approaches to help you achieve your goal of sobriety. Today is the day to take the first step on your journey to recovery. Call Canyon Vista and learn how to begin.